The Winnipeg Jets had goals from seven different players as they won their second game in a row to close out the homestand.
The Jets finally solved their first period scoring woes as they beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 on Tuesday at Bell MTS Place.
Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, and Tyler Myers all had multi-point games in the win. Wheeler had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Scheifele and Trouba each had one goal and two helpers. Myers recorded a pair of assists.
Mathieu Perreault, Kyle Connor, Bryan Little, and Andrew Copp had the other Jets’ markers.
The win moved the Jets back ahead of the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division.
After going six straight games without scoring in the opening period, the Jets notched a pair of first period markers in a back-and-forth contest.
“We got up a little bit and they kind of crept back in,” Trouba said. “And going into the third we were in a decent spot, and we wanted to take advantage of the position we put ourselves in, and we played a pretty good third period.”
The Jets scored seven goals on only 21 shots, including three powerplay markers, and a shorthanded tally. They finished the night 3-for-4 on the man advantage.
It was a game of big momentum swings, but the Jets managed to ride the wave to the win.
“You’re not feeling very good in your locker room in between the second and third,” head coach Paul Maurice said.
“It’s not the mistakes that change the momentum — it’s what you do after the momentum has changed. I believe that. They deserved to be 4-3 after two. They capitalized on a couple mistakes, but we came out right and put ourselves back in a strong position.”
Gabriel Landeskog scored twice for the Avalanche. They also received goals from Carl Soderberg and Ryan Graves. Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie each had a pair of assists.
The Avs badly outshot Winnipeg 41-21 but Connor Hellebuyck made 37 stops. Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer made only 14 saves.
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The Jets killed off an early Avs powerplay, and opened the scoring just past the three-minute mark. Brandon Tanev spotted a streaking Perreault and he beat Grubauer for the game’s first goal. Dmitry Kulikov had the other assist on Perreault’s ninth goal of the season.
The Jets extended their lead on the powerplay with six minutes left in the opening period. Wheeler connected with Connor at the top of the crease. He missed on his first attempt, but quickly sent in the loose puck. It was Connor’s 15th goal of the season with Trouba also drawing an assist on the Jets’ second goal.
The Avalanche soon went to work on the man advantage, and Tyson Barrie’s point shot was tipped in by Landeskog parked out front of Hellebuyck. MacKinnon also had an assist on the powerplay goal. Landeskog’s 26th of the season had the Avs down by only one after 20 minutes of play. The shots were 14-7 in favour of Colorado.
The Jets found themselves shorthanded again early in the second period. But Wheeler and Mark Scheifele worked a perfect give-and-go as Wheeler buried the pass from Scheifele for his seventh goal of the season. Trouba earned his second assist of the game as the Jets took a 3-1 advantage.
Just three minutes later the Jets struck again. Little picked the top corner on Grubauer for the powerplay goal. Myers and Josh Morrissey had the assists on Little’s eighth goal of the campaign, and the Jets led by three.
With just under four minutes left in the middle frame the Avalanche cut into the lead. Soderberg came busting into the Jets zone and lifted the puck past Hellebuyck. Brandon’s Matt Calvert and Erik Johnson had the helpers for Colorado.
The Avalanche scored again just 93 seconds later. After a scramble around the Jets net, Graves tucked it in on the wrap around past a stretched out Hellebuyck. It was Graves’ second goal of the season and suddenly it was a one-goal game.
The Jets restored their two-goal lead early in period number three. Myers put the puck towards the net. It ended up on the stick of Copp, and he tucked it in for his third goal of season. Brendan Lemieux had an assist as well.
Winnipeg added an insurance marker with under 10 minutes left to play. Wheeler sent in Scheifele all alone on the breakaway. Scheifele’s first shot was stopped, but he batted in the rebound out of mid-air for his 23rd of the season.
The Avs crept closer with under four minutes remaining. MacKinnon’s shot was re-directed by Landeskog for his second of the game. MacKinnon and Barrie had the assists to pull the Avs within two goals.
But Trouba scored into the empty net with 1:06 left to give the Jets the 7-4 victory.
Dustin Byfuglien and Nikolaj Ehlers both missed the game with injuries, while Nic Petan and Sami Niku were also scratched for Winnipeg.
The Jets next see action on Thursday in Minnesota.
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