Silfverberg scored his 13th with under a minute left to break a deadlock stretching back to the second period. But he and his teammates agreed it was a little unsightly.
“It wasn’t the prettiest way (to score), but we got the win anyway,” Silfverberg said.
“It was one of those games – it was ugly. It was an ugly hockey game,” added captain Ryan Getzlaf. “The puck was bouncing around, not really connecting a whole lot for both teams… we got away with the win.”
Jets netminder Michael Hutchinson made the initial glove save on Silfverberg’s first attempt but couldn’t corral the rebound, allowing Silfverberg to score.
The Ducks picked up their 40th win of the season (40-22-9) and moved within four points of the idle Los Angeles Kings for top spot in the Pacific Division.
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said his team needs to be better over the final stretch of the regular season if they want to catch up.
“We weren’t very good,” Boudreau said. “We gave up way too many chances. We just weren’t doing things that we were capable of and probably Winnipeg had a little bit to do with that. But if we want to be successful in the last 11 games and beyond, we got to play better.”
The Jets (29-37-6) dropped their third straight decision.
“They’re physical and they come hard. For us, it’s a big test. That’s a good team over there and they’re always going to be a front-runner in the playoffs. It’s a good test for us every time, kind of a benchmark to see where we are in comparison to them.”
Hutchinson turned aside 30 shots in a losing effort.
Riddled with injuries and bit by the flu bug, the Jets deployed some of their youngest talent on Sunday.
“We had a lot of guys step up,” Mark Scheifele said. “(Chase De Leo) had a great game. A lot of young guys who haven’t played a lot of games here played awesome for us and it sucked we couldn’t get them the win.”
The Jets opened the scoring 6:29 into the first period. Postma’s first shot was turned aside by Gibson, but he fired in his second attempt for his first goal of the season.
McGinn got his stick on Kevin Bieksa‘s blast from the point, redirecting the puck under Hutchinson’s pads to tie the game 1-1 on the power play at 16:01.
Kesler gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead just 20 seconds into the second period, wiring home a wicked one-timer from Andrew Cogliano for his 17th of the season.
Winnipeg tied it 2-2 before the halfway mark. Ben Chiarot‘s point blast ricocheted off Simon Despres‘ body and onto the stick of Wheeler, who needed just a flick of the backhand to score his 19th goal at 6:26.
The game was the first of five straight on the road for the Ducks.