WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets won for the first time this season when trailing after two periods when they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at MTS Centre on Saturday.
Two third-period goals 1:35 apart completed a 2-0 comeback by the Jets. Winnipeg had been 0-24-3 when trailing after the second period.
"Even down 2-0…our game was very consistent, start to finish," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
Adam Lowry broke a 2-2 tie with 10:59 remaining, one-timing Scott Kosmachuk's pass on a 2-on-1 rush past Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov for his fifth goal. Kosmachuk got his first NHL point on the play. Drew Stafford made it 2-2 with his 18th goal at 7:26.
"We were pretty excited," Lowry said of celebrating with Kosmachuk. "I think I held him in the air for a few seconds. It's always exciting. I still remember my first point. It was an unbelievable pass, so I'm really happy for him."
Video: COL@WPG: Stafford beats Varlamov to tie the game
Colorado lost control of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference after the loss and with the Minnesota Wild defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Colorado and Minnesota each have 74 points, but Minnesota has played one fewer game.
Mark Scheifele started the Winnipeg comeback on the power play with his team-leading 22nd goal when snapped a low far-side shot from the right circle past Varlamov at 16:29 of the second period to make it 2-1.
"It shows that us that if we stick to our game plan, we don't try to open anything up being down a goal, it shows that our game plan works," Scheifele said.
In his past 12 games, Scheifele has 18 points (10 goals, eight assists). The goal extended his point streak to a career-high seven games (seven goals, four assists).
"We had a strong first period," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "I thought we were solid until [three consecutive second-period penalties]. I felt that after that we could not get the momentum back."
Video: COL@WPG: Scheifele closes the gap, makes it 2-1
The Avalanche have lost eight games when leading after the second period (23-6-2).
"I think when you go into the third period up a goal, it doesn't matter what happened in the second," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, who had a goal and an assist, said. "You've got to reset and come back out. It has been a problem for our team, closing out games, and [Saturday] was no different."
The Jets (28-35-5) won for the second time in their past 10 home games (2-7-1). Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 35 saves.
Erik Johnson also scored for the Avalanche (35-31-4), and Varlamov had 27 saves.
"Give them credit," Duchene said of the Jets. "They played well in the third, but we've got to find a way to calm things down and push back at the right time. We didn't do that."
"[Winnipeg] is going to be a non-playoff team, and not to say that they're not a good team, but we've got to be more desperate than them at this time of year. We have a lot more to play for right now. Giving up that game is not what is going to get us into the playoffs, so it's unfortunate."
Video: COL@WPG: Duchene tallies off Iginla's rebound
After a scoreless first period, the Avalanche scored twice in a 1:53 span in the second period.
Colorado went up 1-0 when Johnson took Duchene's cross-ice pass to the right circle and snapped his 10th goal high past Pavelec at 4:02 of the second period. Johnson reached 10 or more goals for the second consecutive season and third time in his career.
Duchene made it 2-0 with his team-leading 29th goal when Pavelec failed to cover a rebound. After several tries, Duchene managed to shove the loose puck into the net at 5:55.
"I felt like we did have the game under control," Colorado forward Blake Comeau said. "It was one of those games where we kind of let them hang around. We had some good chances to make it 3-0, and we didn't bear down."
The Avalanche are off until Wednesday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks.
"As much as it [stinks], we've got some hockey left to play, and we're still in this playoff race, so we've got to put it behind us as fast as we can and move on," Comeau said.
Video: Lowry breaks tie in 3rd, giving Jets a home victory