Avalanche edge Jets 5-4 in OT for 5th straight win
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Cale Makar scored a power-play goal 2:42 into overtime to lift the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the struggling Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
Andre Burakovsky and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon also scored for the Avalanche, who have won five straight games. Makar added an assist.
“I like the fact that our team stuck with it in overtime,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “You certainly don’t like to give up a lead, but the Jets are a dangerous team. They have some shooters over there.”
Pavel Francouz stopped 39 shots for Colorado, which is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games and finishes a three-game road trip Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
“They made it hard for us,” Burakovsky said of the Jets. “They had a couple long shifts in our zone against us.
“They were shooting the puck and they were working hard. They were crashing the net. It was hard for us to defend against that. Really good job by us to find a way to win the game.”
Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers both scored twice and added an assist for Winnipeg, which is winless in four games (0-3-1).
Scheifele’s second goal made it 4-3 with 3:35 left in the third period.
Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen then took a penalty with 44 seconds left. The Jets pulled Hellebuyck for a two-man advantage and Ehlers scored with 16 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Ehlers was then called for slashing MacKinnon 45 seconds into the extra period, and Maker scored his 25th goal of the season to end it.
“Penalties hurt us at the end,” Bednar said. “We had one opportunity with the empty net in order to probably put that game on ice and we didn’t capitalize on it, and then we end up getting called a penalty.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves in his 60th game of the season for the Jets, who went 0-2-1 during a three-game homestand.
The Jets are seven points behind the idle Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“We understand the situation and where we are at in the standings,” Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said. “We had a conversation (after the second period) about not quitting and how we want to look at this next stretch of games here.
“Obviously, we are not happy with where we are, but at the same time, it’s what team do we want to be, what type of group do we want to be in there and what kind of fight do we want to show each other and just have no quit?”
Winnipeg was without captain Blake Wheeler (upper body), who was injured in last Wednesday’s loss to Detroit.
Colorado got a lucky bounce on its first goal. Aube-Kubel’s pass to the front of the net hit the skate of Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon and went into the net at 5:10 of the opening period.
Winnipeg then killed off a penalty before tying the game with Scheifele’s 28th goal.
Scheifele and Ehlers paired up for a two-on-one, with Ehlers passing to Scheifele at the side of the net for a low shot that went by Francouz’s skate at 10:32.
Ehlers made it 2-1 after a failed breakout attempt by the Avalanche. Scheifele got the puck and sent it to Ehlers in front of the net, and Ehlers poked in his own rebound with 2:25 left in the period.
Burakovsky recorded his 20th goal of the season to tie it at 3:55 of the second period.
A Winnipeg turnover led to Johnson putting the Avs ahead 3-2 at 9:11.
Colorado’s J.T. Compher got a penalty shot after being hooked by Dillon, but his backhand shot missed the net with 2:42 remaining.
MacKinnon’s 25th goal of the season widened the gap to 4-2 at 4:04 of the third.
Avalanche: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
Jets: At Ottawa on Sunday night.
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