Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) stops the puck in front of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers (57) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass
February 20, 2015

TORONTO (AP) Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers and winger Drew Stafford are having fun with the playoff-contending Winnipeg Jets.

''It's the best,'' Myers said Friday. ''It's been a while since I've been in this position. The fact that we're in a position to give ourselves a chance to be a playoff team, I'm very excited to be here.''

Myers and Stafford went from the NHL's worst team to the thick of the Western Conference race when they were part of the blockbuster deal that sent injured winger Evander Kane to Buffalo.

They have already made an impact with the Jets.

''Both of them, for us, in some tough situations, have been a part of us coming from behind in games and getting us wins,'' Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. ''So we're real happy with what they've brought to our team.''

Myers has a goal and three assists and Stafford a goal through four games with the Jets. The coaching staff hasn't burdened the newcomers with too much to learn and told them to have fun and use their skill to get up to speed.

Part of the fun is playing meaningful games for the first time in a while.

''Just excited to get back into the hunt, back into the mix of playoff hockey, back in the race since I was earlier in my career,'' Stafford said. ''To get thrown right back into that mix, it's a great feeling and I'm going to do my best to contribute in any way I can.''

Myers and Stafford weren't luxury additions but necessary ones for the Jets, who've been hit hard by injuries. Kane's season was over due to shoulder surgery and more recently forward Mathieu Perreault suffered an injury that Maurice said would likely keep him out through the rest of the regular season.

Adding Stafford meant Winnipeg could keep star swingman Dustin Byfuglien on defense rather than move him up to forward. Stafford gutted through an injury himself to play Thursday night in a loss to the Washington Capitals. He skated Friday and expects to play Saturday night when the Jets visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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