The Winnipeg Jets seventh attempt this season at their first 3 game winning streak fell short again in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Monday Night. And there probably wasn’t a whole lot of satisfaction in Joel Armia ruining Semyon Varlamov’s bid for a shutout by scoring with only 42 seconds remaining. It was the first time this season the Jets have been able to score a goal with the netminder out for the extra attacker. The loss, to open a 6 game home stand, left Winnipeg staring at a 4 point deficit between themselves and the Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the NHL Western Conference.
Carl Soderberg snapped a scoreless tie just 1:16 into the second period as Colorado opened the scoring for the 30th time in 47 games this season. Jarome Iginla scored on the power play with only 18 seconds left in the middle frame for what turned out to be the game winner. It was Iginla’s 602nd career goal, moving him past Jari Kurri and into sole possession of 18th place on the all time list. “They all feel good, but getting a power play goal at the end of the second was a big goal for the power play,” said the veteran forward. “We’ve gotten some chances lately, but haven’t been able to get one. To get one there and being able to go into the third two up in a big game it felt good as a group. In the third we did what we had to do, they had a good push and we were able to hold them off.”
Varlamov finished with 36 saves, 10 of them on Blake Wheeler who finished the game with 17 shot attempts. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 of 34 shots in taking the loss. Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice took a philosophical approach in losing for the third straight time to the Avalanche this season. “There’s no other way for us to play. So you just stick to it,” said Maurice during his post game media conference.”That’s all part of the mental toughness, and growth process that the team goes through. We have – and teams will sit back a little bit if they have a lead on you, and make you generate a bunch of offense, and didn’t get any to go tonight. It’s a process of getting better, and we are not changing who we are.”
The Jets continue the home stand Thursday Night when they host Nashville at 7 p.m. in the third meeting in the last 16 days with the Central Division rival Predators.