May 24th, 2024

Avalanche roll past Jets 5-2, head home with series tied 1-1

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press on April 23, 2024.

Colorado Avalanche's Joel Kiviranta (94) looks for the loose puck in front of Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the second period in Game 2 of their NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Winnipeg, Tuesday April 23, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade

WINNIPEG – Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and assist as the Colorado Avalanche scored three unanswered second-period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday that tied their first-round NHL playoff series at a game apiece.

The best-of-seven Western Conference matchup shifts to Denver for Friday’s Game 3.

Miles Wood, Zach Parise, Josh Manson and Valeri Nichushkin, with an empty-netter, also scored for the Avalanche.

Alexandar Georgiev made 30 saves for Colorado, rebounding from his Game 1 performance when he allowed seven goals on 23 shots.

David Gustaffson and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced for Winnipeg in front of another sold-out crowd of 15,225 white-clad fans at Canada Life Centre.

The Jets led 1-0 after the first period, but Colorado mounted a 4-2 lead after scoring three goals in the final 5:37 seconds of the middle frame.

Winnipeg fans were razzing Georgiev from the get-go, giving the netminder a loud cheer when he made his first save of the game.

Georgiev was then beaten by Gustafsson 3:15 into the first period when he capitalized on a loose puck off a rebound and put it into an open net.

It was the fourth-line forward’s first career playoff goal in his fifth career post-season game.

The Avalanche were down 9-2 in shots on goal near the 13-minute mark, but turned up the heat as the opening period ended with the visitors ahead 15-12.

Wood tied it at 1:59 into the second period when Ross Colton won a faceoff and sent the puck to him and he fired it past Hellebuyck.

The Avalanche soon went on a four-minute power play after Jets winger Kyle Connor received a double minor for high-sticking Cale Makar. Colorado only put one shot on net during the man advantage.

Winnipeg responded 32 seconds after the penalty expired when Scheifele raced to the net and redirected a pass from Gabriel Vilardi at 8:37.

After Connor had a shot hit the post and bounce out, Colorado scored three in a row.

Lehkonen tipped in a Makar shot at 14:16 and Parise made it 3-2 three minutes during a scramble for the puck in front of the Winnipeg net.

Manson came out of the penalty box for roughing and received a breakaway pass from Nathan MacKinnon, beating Hellebuyck with seven seconds remaining.

Jets 6-foot-7 defenceman Logan Stanley crushed Avs’ defenceman Sean Walker in the corner going for the puck nine minutes into the third. Walker headed to the dressing room, while Stanley and Colorado forward Brandon Duhaime went to the box for roughing.

Duhaime returned to the penalty box a few minutes later for interference but Winnipeg couldn’t capitalize.

Nichushkin sent the puck in an empty net with 57 seconds left.


The Avalanche were the NHL’s best home team during the regular season, finishing 31-9-1 at Ball Arena to rank first in home wins.

However, the Jets accounted for two of those losses as they took the season series 3-0, including a 7-0 victory on April 13 and a 4-2 win Dec. 7.

Winnipeg went 25-13-3 on the road this season, tied for third in the NHL in road wins.


Game 3 in the series is Friday night in Denver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2024.

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