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Avs dump Jets in overtime

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BARRY GUTIERREZ / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, second from left, celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal past Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya during overtime of an NHL game at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., Monday. The Avalanche won 3-2 to hand the Jets their fourth straight defeat.

DENVER — It can be a glorious and wonderful game. And then there are nights like Monday when the Winnipeg Jets served up one of their most-complete efforts of the season and were delivered a cruel blow by the game’s gods.
The Jets were dropped 3-2 in overtime by the Colorado Avalanche, one of the Western Conference powers, and as a result are now winless in their last four games (0-2-2).
The OT loss leaves Winnipeg with a 30-28-8 record, while the Avs improve to 42-18-5. Although the single point may yet turn out to be an important one when the numbers are added up at the end of the season, the sweat equity served up by the Jets in Colorado certainly made them worthy of a critical second point.
More important is this: With 16 games left in the regular season the Jets still have a ton of ground to close to be playing meaningful games next month.


WHAT IT MEANS

Captain Obvious: there’s never a good time for an NHL team to go on a four-game winless streak, but it really stinks when a squad is in a full-out sprint for a playoff spot. Both Phoenix and Nashville won their games Monday night, pushing the Coyotes, now with 71 points, three points ahead of the Jets while the Predators inched closer with 64 points.
Meanwhile, the Dallas-Columbus game was postponed in the first period Monday after Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the team’s bench and had to be attended to by doctors before being taken to the hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
That leaves the Jets four points back of the Stars, who hold down the final Western Conference wild-card spot.


THE LINE-JUGGLING EXPERIMENT

Trying anything to get some offensive pop — and a return to better defensive-zone structure — Jets coach Paul Maurice juggled his lines before the game. He moved Michael Frolik from centre back to the right wing on a line with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd, had Olli Jokinen between Devin Setoguchi and Evander Kane, moved Jim Slater to the middle of Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler and had John Albert centring Anthony Peluso and Eric Tangradi.
The Slater line consistently generated the best offensive pressure all night with Byfuglien scoring twice — once on the power play — in a massive power-forward-type effort from the Jets’ big man. And Slater, a defensive specialist his whole career, was solid in the offensive zone, finishing with five shots — including a missed attempt on a penalty shot.
The Little-Ladd-Frolik trio was also solid as was the Jokinen line — Kane, in particular — giving the Jets push from their top three units.
The fourth line were simply passengers, especially after Albert exited the game in the second period with an upper-body injury. Combined, the Albert line played a grand total of five minutes and 41 seconds.


PENALTY PARADE

The Jets made a constant procession to the penalty box and the only thing missing from the parade were marching bands, clown cars and floats. Winnipeg was short-handed six times, but shut the Avs down on all six occasions while limiting them to just six shots on goal.
The Jets have now given up just two power-play goals on the road in 13 games since the calendar turned to 2014 and have killed off 39 straight minors.


EXTRA FUN TIME

The Jets dominated the first chunk of the OT, but a loose puck in front of Al Montoya — who was solid — was knocked right to Matt Duchene by Jerts defenceman Toby Enstrom. Duchene was able to score the winner, which brought the Avs off the bench in celebration and sent the visitors to the dressing room cursing.
ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca


Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets fall 3-2 to Colorado Avalanche in OT. Losing streak extends to four games (0-2-2). 10:59 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets announce John Albert will not return with an upper-body injury. 9:51 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets face-off woes continues: Jokinen loses draw to Mitchell, Benoit beats Montoya. 2-2 tie after two 9:41 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Dustin Byfulgien 2, Avs 1 after the big man bangs one in off Varlamov. #NHLJets 9:36 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Dustin Byfuglien scores his 15th on the PP and the visitors are right back in this. No complaints about Wpg's effort tonight. 9:32 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets John Albert to the dressing room now. Injury woes down the middle continue. 9:12 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: John Mitchell around Stuart, Nathan MacKinnon slips behind Bogosian, puck appears to go off Bogosian's stick. Not stellar work #NHLJets 9:11 pm on Mar 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: pav has been in net for 9 of maurice's 11 wins with #nhljets. but hot hand has to be the course of action right now. doesn't it? 8:55 pm on Mar 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: interesting to see how maurice responds to a strong montoya outing. my guess is winner keeps net but #nhljets have favoured pav in past 8:54 pm on Mar 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: kane has it going tonight. if #nhljets can stay out of box, maurice will give him lots of work. al very sharp in net. lots to like in 1st 8:47 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets kill off four penalties in first, have Jim Slater miss on a penalty shot and it's 0-0 after 1. Love to see some 5-on-5. 8:46 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets PK units have killed off four penalties in this period. Avs have 10 shots on goal with 2:41 left 8:41 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Only missing from this #NHLJets parade to penalty box is a marching band and a few floats. 8:35 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Penalty shot for #NHLJets Jim Slater stopped. He is now 0-3 in his career in penalty shot attempts. 8:31 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Do believe the #NHLJets have now killed off 36 consecutive penalties on the road. 8:30 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: And the #NHLJets parade to the penalty box continues after Zach Bogosian nailed for goaltender int. 8:24 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets playing with fire with these two early penalties. 8:20 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets starters: Montoya, Ladd, Little, Frolik, Enstrom and Bogosian. Press box announcer here pronounced it: 'Bogo-shy-in.' 7:57 pm on Mar 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: i'll ask @garrethohl why it's obvious to me #nhljets are better with buff up front when his numbers tell him the exact obvious. great talk 4:46 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: And Al Montoya in visitor's net at #NHLJets morning skate. Likely means he starts tonight 12:40 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets lines: Frolik back on RW w Little and Ladd, Kane-Jokinen-Seto, Albert b/w Peluso and Tangradi and Slater with Buff and Wheeler 12:38 pm on Mar 10

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: On the bright side, road PK flippin' fantastic bit.ly/1i3EgN2 #NHLJets 9:41 am on Mar 10

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Jet a grizzled vet at age 20 bit.ly/1lnP0G3 #NHLJets 9:40 am on Mar 10

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Ain't no mountain HIGH ENOUGH bit.ly/1i3m1Hn #NHLJets 9:40 am on Mar 10

History

Updated on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM CDT: Avs score

9:37 PM: Byfuglien scores twice

9:42 PM: Avs respond late in second period to tie score 2-2

10:40 PM: going to OT

10:45 PM: Avs win

11:21 PM: updates with Free Press game story

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