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Beyak: Jets start strong but fall to Avalanche in shootout

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Dennis Beyak
12/13/2013 2:06:59 AM
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Colorado Avalanche 4 Winnipeg Jets 3 (Shootout) – With the loss the Jets have gone five straight home games without a win. They did however pick up a point in three of those five games. Jets record is now 14-14-5, their home record 7-7-4.

The Jets got off to the start they wanted with Blake Wheeler scoring his eighth of the season 24 seconds into the game, with assists to Toby Enstrom and Bryan Little.

Enstrom snapped an eight game pointless drought, while Little now has 21 points in his last 21 games and has points in 22 of the teams 33 games this season.

After failing to score on a two man advantage, the Jets did get a power play goal from Michael Frolik to take a 2-0 lead 5:25 into the game. It was the first time in four tries this season that they did not score while up two men.

For Frolik it was his eighth of the year and first power play goal of the season. He deflected a Jacob Trouba shot, giving him his first power play point and his first home point.

Matt Duchene snapped a seven game goalless drought at 15:08, scoring his 13th to make it 2-1 after the first, despite the Jets outshooting the Avs 14-4. In the last three first periods the Jets have outshot the opposition 37-11. In 29 games Colorado had only given up 17 first period goals.

The second period was a reversal with the Avalanche outshooting the Jets 14-4 and getting goals from Ryan O'Reilly and Duchene to take a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Duchene's second of the night came with 2.6 seconds left in the period, on a play that he started in his own end by picking off a Jets pass and breaking out with Nathan MacKinnon.
 
The Jets regrouped in the third period outshooting the Avs 13-5 and getting a power play goal from Wheeler to tie the game. Wheeler now has nine goals on the year and has scored four in the last five games after going 14 games without a goal.

It was Wheeler's 13th career two goal game. Grant Clitsome picked up his second assist of the night on the goal; Mark Scheifele had the other assist. It was the second time this season the Jets have scored two power play goals in the same game. Jets went to their sixth power play of the night at 14:10 of the third but could not find the go ahead goal. 

In the overtime period, the Jets had five shots to Colorado's three. Both Semyon Varlamov and Ondrej Pavelec made some big saves in this game as at times both sides opened it up and traded chances.

The game went to a short shootout. Devin Setoguchi failed to score, Duchene did, Andrew Ladd did not score, while PA Parenteau did and the game was over.

It was the Jets 11th overtime game of the year (1-1 in overtime and 5-4 in shootouts.) The Jets close out the three game home stand Saturday afternoon against Dallas (TSN 1290).

Wheeler led the way with six shots on goal; Little won nine of 13 face-offs, Dustin Byfuglien played 29:20. Trouba played 25:52 the second highest total of the season. Jets how have 14 power play goals, 11 of them scored at home.

This from Blake Wheeler post game - "they took advantage of our mistakes. We've been taking positives out of losses too long. We didn't do enough to win the game."

Coach Claude Noel agreed. "Tough point to lose. We played really good in the first; we got the building involved with the two first goals, and then didn't do the same things in the second. We missed the net, didn't shoot very much. Again, it's game management. Turnovers in our own zone. Then get out of the second period 2-2, regroup and away you go."

The goal with 2.6 seconds made it 3-2 for Colorado a team that is now 18-0 when leading after two.

"We came back in the third, our power play was good again," continued Coach Noel. "Then we get to the shootout and we've been on the good side and the bad side. Winning in the NHL is not an easy process. We're a .500 team and that's not good enough. In the conference we are in, it's not even close."

Colorado Avalanche Celebrate (Photo: Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)
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