Connect with us

Colorado Avalanche

Five Goal Outburst In Third Catapults Avalanche To Series Lead Over Jets



Avalanche Jets

You cannot come unglued against the Colorado Avalanche, especially on their home-ice. That’s exactly what the Winnipeg Jets did in the third period, and they paid dearly for it.

The Avalanche scored five unanswered goals in the third period of Game Three in front of a wild Ball Arena crowd, catapulting them to a 6-2 victory over the Jets. Some of the moves Chris MacFarland made over the final three months of the season paid huge dividends, as Casey Mittelstadt led the way with a three assist night, with one of those assists coming on free agent signing Zach Parise’s second of the series. Nathan MacKinnon, Valeri Nichushkin, Artturi Lehkonen, Ross Colton, and Devon Toews added the other goals as Colorado took a 2-1 lead in the series.

Alexandar Georgiev played another solid game, with his biggest stop of night coming on a Toffoli breakaway in the second period. He finished the evening with 22 saves for his second straight victory.

First Period

It’s hard to match the energy that the building in Winnipeg had, but Avalanche fans came pretty close. Before the anthem even started, “Georgie!” chants broke out, and probably broke out four or five times during the first period alone. There was good reason for that, though. Georgiev had to be on top of his game early. Winnipeg’s first shot was off a scramble in front, and the Avalanche goaltender got his left pad on a shot. A few minutes later, he made a great stop on a Monahan wraparound attempt to keep the game scoreless.

From there, Colorado started to pick up their game, led by their new-look second line. Casey Mittelstadt really got the party started, springing Artturi Lehkonen for Colorado’s first great chance of the period. Later in the shift, Mittelstadt nearly scored a beauty, going between his legs to try and tuck a puck past Hellebuyck, but the Jets goalie stopped him.

At 11:58 of the period, that line got the scoring started for the home team. Zach Parise and Mittelstadt worked a nice give-and-go at the offensive blueline, and the center hit a pinching Josh Manson for a shot attempt. Hellebuyck stopped his wrister, but Parise went to the net and smacked home the rebound, making it 1-0.

Nathan MacKinnon hit a crossbar and a post, but couldn’t find the back of the net. At the other end, Georgiev made three strong stops in the final 10 seconds to make sure the Avalanche went into the intermission up by one.

Second Period

Winnipeg got to their game more to start period two, slowing down the Avalanche and holding onto the puck a bit more. They tied the game up five minutes into the period, taking advantage of of a Toews pinch in the offensive zone. The Avalanche did get numbers back, but it was a little scrambly. Georgiev kicked a rebound right out to Toffoli, but his initial shot was blocked. The puck came right back to him, and from the goal line, he somehow beat Georgiev with a backhand, tying the game up. Not an ideal goal to give up at that time of the game, and Colorado started to fall apart a little bit from there.

The refs let a lot go in the first period, but called Casey Mittelstadt for hooking at the 9:15 mark. Winnipeg took the lead on that powerplay, with Josh Morrissey sending a one-timer through a heavy screen to make it 2-1. Moments after that, Toffoli was stopped on a breakaway by Georgiev, a big stop to keep it a one goal game, allowing the Avalanche to find their feet a little bit.

Lowry was called for slashing to give the Avalanche their first powerplay of the game, but they couldn’t convert. The best chance probably came off the stick of Mikko Rantanen, but he had to pick the kick the puck to his stick, allowing Hellebuyck to get over and make the stop.

Hellebuyck made 17 stops in the second period, many of which came from the outside, and the Jets carried the 2-1 lead into the third period.

Third Period

To say this game turned on a dime would be an understatement. Just 1:14 into the third, Mason Appleton took an offensive zone penalty, and awoke the beast that is Colorado’s powerplay.

A minute into the man advantage, Nathan MacKinnon, having moved to the center point, one-timed a shot through a screen that beat Hellebuyck, making it 2-2. Just a minute after that, Gabe Vilardi’s wild stick caught Devon Toews up high, leading to a four minute powerplay for Colorado. They didn’t score on the first portion of it, but controlled the puck in the offensive zone the entire time.

Four seconds into the second powerplay, Rantanen threw a puck in front that missed everyone, but found Nichushkin at the side of the net. He beat a scrambling Hellebuyck to make it 3-2.

That was just the beginning.

Toews returned to the game, and played a key role in the fourth Avalanche goal. He poked the puck away from Scheifele at the blueline, leading to a 2-on-1 the other way for his squad. Mittelstadt waited out Hellebuyck and the defender, getting both out of position before feeding Lehkonen. The Finn sent the puck into an open net for his third goal of the series, giving the Avalanche the two goal lead.

Winnipeg’s penalty troubles didn’t stop there, as Pionk shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. Just as he stepped out of the box, Sam Girard, playing his first game of the series, sent a cross-ice pass to Mittelstadt, who quickly hit Ross Colton in front to make it 5-2. Devon Toews added an empty netter to make it 6-2, giving the Avalanche a five goal third period.

Things got nasty at the end of the game, with an all-out brawl at the buzzer. Brenden Dillon’s hand appeared to get stepped on, leaving a lot of blood on the ice. Rick Bowness did not have an update on his status after the game.

Colorado will now look to take a command 3-1 series lead on Sunday afternoon when Game Four takes place. That game starts at 12:30 PM MST.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now.