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Jets 4, Sabres 1

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Home is, indeed, where the heart is for the Winnipeg Jets as they continue to pump life into their playoff hopes.

The Jets won their second straight game at MTS Centre with a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Winnipeg (20-19-2) -- ninth in the Eastern Conference but within striking distance of the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators --continues a crucial six-game home stand Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

Kyle Wellwood, Aaron Gagnon and Andrew Ladd scored second-period goals for the Jets.

Kevin Porter scored early in the third period for the Sabres, while Blake Wheeler slid in an empty-netter for Winnipeg.

Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves in the Winnipeg net. Sabres netminder Ryan Miller allowed three goals on 29 shots.

Buffalo (16-18-6) hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Sabres were coming off three straight victories to start the month of April, beating Pittsburgh, Ottawa and New Jersey prior to the contest in Winnipeg.

Wellwood benefitted from a crazy bounce to open the scoring for the Jets at 4:54 of the second period. Evander Kane took a slap shot from a bad angle, the puck hit a skate and ricocheted right to Wellwood alone in the slot, and he wristed his fourth goal of the season into a wide-open net.

Winnipeg went up 2-0 when Gagnon converted a perfect feed from Dustin Byfuglien for his first NHL goal. Gagnon had just two assists in 30 career games over four NHL seasons, split between Dallas and Winnipeg.

Gagnon, called up last week from the St. John's IceCaps, was the AHL's player of the month for March.

Ladd's pretty deke on Miller with just 22 seconds left in the middle frame increased the hosts' lead to 3-0.

The Sabres' only goal came in the third period when Porter banked a shot off Wheeler's skate for his third of the year.

Jets' blueliner Toby Enstrom was injured in the first period and did not return.

Earlier in the season, Enstrom was out for more than a month with a shoulder injury.

NOTES: Thomas Vanek, the Sabres' leading scorer, returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing six games with an upper-body injury. ... Buffalo winger Patrick Kaleta's stick went flying four rows into the crowd when he got body-checked by Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn. Fans booed loudly when a youngster had to give it back. ... Kane took his league-leading 23rd minor penalty in the first period. ... Jacob Trouba, 19, is skating with the Jets but there's no timetable to get the blueliner into the lineup. Trouba, a native of Rochester, Mich., who left the University of Michigan last week and signed with Winnipeg, was drafted in the first round, ninth overall, in 2012. ... Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller is just five games shy of 500. ... The Jets have recorded 1,140 hits this season, ranking fourth in the NHL behind only Toronto (1,285), the Rangers (1,177) and Los Angeles (1,165). ... Buffalo's last win in Winnipeg was in February 1993, three years before the Jets left for Phoenix.
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