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Colorado Avalanche

Makar-Less Avalanche Lay An Egg In Winnipeg




Before the start of the game, the Colorado Avalanche were dealt a blow, as Cale Makar was not going to be able to dress due to a lower-body injury.

Once the game started, it was the Winnipeg Jets who dealt most of the blows on the evening, and the Avalanche didn’t have a whole lot of answers.

The Jets scored the first three goals, and Colorado really didn’t generate much offense at all at even strength on their way to a disappointing 6-2 loss. Jonathan Drouin and Jack Johnson were the lone goal scorers for Colorado. Ivan Prosvetov got the start over Alexandar Georgiev, but didn’t fare very well, stopping just 19 shots.

Makar’s absence was felt throughout the game, and after the loss, Jared Bednar classified him as day-to-day.

First Period

Period one was not for the faint of heart. The Avalanche came out with very little energy, and that fed right into exactly what the Winnipeg Jets wanted to do. At 5-on-5, Colorado generated a measly eight shot attempts in nearly 17 minutes.

Although the Jets weren’t exactly pushing the pace offensively, they didn’t allow Colorado to do much. The second the Avalanche made their first big mistake of the night, they capitalized.

A relatively harmless zone entry turned into the first goal of the game for Winnipeg. Josh Morrisey sent the puck down low to Scheifele, and two Colorado skaters decided to focus on him, leaving Gabe Vilardi all alone in front. Scheifele hit him with the pass, and Prosvetov went swimming, leaving most of the net open. Just seconds after this goal, Josh Manson took a delay of game penalty, and Winnipeg extended their lead.

Former Avalanche forward Vladislav Namestnikov was left all alone in the slot on the power play, and he beat Prosvetov, making it two goals on two straight shots. Colorado did get a late powerplay, but it was pretty lifeless, and the Jets went into the intermission up by two.

Second Period

The second was slightly better for Colorado, but they still didn’t generate nearly enough chances to get anything past an elite goaltender like Hellebuyck. The only goal of the period went to the Jets, and it came off an egregious turnover by the Avalanche.

Caleb Jones, back in the lineup with Makar out, sent a pass right up the middle of the ice from behind his own net. It landed right on the stick of Alex Iafallo, who wired a backhand past Prosvetov, making it 3-0.

Hellebuyck was not tested much at the other end, with maybe his best save coming off Devon Toews, who was left alone at the face-off circle. After two periods, Colorado had generated just 13 shots on net. Not nearly good enough in a battle for the Central Division lead.

Third Period

Colorado pushed back more to start the third, but most of that pushback came on the powerplay. The Avalanche registered 19 shots in the third, and 10 of them came with the man advantage.

The powerplay is where Colorado would break the shutout. Mikko Rantanen’s original shot missed the net, but it bounced off the backboards back in front, where Drouin banked it off Hellebuyck’s skate and it. With the score 3-1, the Avalanche had a little bit of life, but it wouldn’t last long.

The Jets took advantage of back-to-back icings from the Bowen Byram/Josh Manson pair, as both were exhausted. Vilardi outmuscled Manson in front of the net, and beat a flopping Prosvetov to make it 4-1. Niederreiter made it a 5-1 game just five minutes later, as a 3-on-2 for the Jets left him wide open for a one-timer.

Jack Johnson scored off the rush to cut the lead back down to three, but a late empty net goal by Ehlers sent Colorado home with a 6-2 loss. Not only did the Jets leapfrog Colorado in the standings, but the Stars temporarily did as well by picking up a point against the Blues. And don’t look now, but Nashville is just two points back of Colorado, so things are suddenly real tight in the Central.

The Avalanche won’t have any time to sit and think about this loss. They’re right back at it on Sunday evening, as they head home to host the San Jose Sharks. That game starts at 6 PM MST.

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