R1, Gm2: Avalanche @ Jets Recap

WINNIPEG -- Artturi Lehkonenhad a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche evened their Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets with a 5-2 win in Game 2 at Canada Life Centre on Tuesday.

“Obviously, it’s an important win,” Colorado forward Andrew Cogliano said. “We thought we played well in the first game (a 7-6 loss) and didn’t get the result. I thought tonight we dug in. Went down early but it seemed like all four lines contributed, our [defense] played great and [Georgiev] had a bounce-back game, so tied the series. When you play in a building like this against a team like that, 1-1 going home into our building is a pretty good spot to be.”

Cale Makar had two assists for the Avalanche, the No. 3 seed from the Central Division. Alexandar Georgiev made 28 saves after allowing seven goals in 23 shots in Game 1.

“They showed so much support to me over the last couple of days. A very rough first game, obviously,” Georgiev said of his teammates. “I just felt so much trust in the room from everybody and I appreciate it so much. It helped me reset, to know that they have got my back. I know I’ll help them out as well during this playoff. It was huge from them. I appreciate it.”

COL@WPG R1, Gm2: Lehkonen tips in Makar's shot to tie game in 2nd period

David Gustafsson and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets, who are the No. 2 seed from the Central. Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves.

“It was a tough fought game, and [we] probably gave them a little bit too much zone time and a little bit too much space at times in that game,” Scheifele said. “But also we had some good shifts in there too. We have two days of rest here now. We need to ramp it up as it’s the playoffs. You’re not going to win every game, but you’ve just got to be ready for the punches that are thrown.”

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series will be in Colorado on Friday (10 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT, ALT, TVAS, CBC).

Gustafsson gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 3:15 of the first period, scoring on the rebound from Brenden Dillon's point shot.

“We were a lot better in certain areas,” Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said. “We had some lapses, certainly at the end of the second and it kind of caught up to us a little bit. We had the start we really wanted and then they got their power play and finished up strong in the first. But for the most part it was a lot better in areas, and there’s still improvement to be made."

Miles Wood tied it 1-1 at 1:59 of the second period, shooting five-hole on Hellebuyck after Ross Colton won an offensive zone face-off.

“Through the playoffs, you need lines to score, especially the third and fourth lines,” Cogliano said. “I thought Miles had a great goal from their line and we were able to chip in. Big two goals and sometimes that’s the difference in games like tonight.”

Scheifele scored one-handed to put the Jets back in front 2-1 at 8:37, just 32 seconds after Winnipeg killed off a double minor to Kyle Connor for high-sticking. Connor began the rush with a cross-ice outlet pass to Gabriel Vilardi, who then set Scheifele up for a deflection. Scheifele got his stick on the puck at the edge of the crease while tied up by Avalanche defenseman Jack Johnson.

“Fantastic pass by Gabe,” Scheifele said. “I knew the guy was kind of there and he didn’t really know where the puck was, so if I had to go two-handed there, he probably reacts in the same fashion. I just made a judgment call.”

COL@WPG R1, Gm2: Scheifele redirects Vilardi's shot in to give Jets lead in 2nd period

Lehkonen tied it 2-2 with a tip in close off Makar's point shot at 14:16.

“[Lehkonen] is a competitive, competitive guy,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “When you talk about all-around, good players that play the game the right way, and it's not always showing up on the stat sheet for a guy like [Lehkonen]. I can pick guys around the league that I’m a big fan of the way they play for multiple reasons. He's one of them. When you do the right things all the time, day after day, practice, games, and you're an intense competitor, it's going to pay off for you at some point. I feel like we've seen that out of [Lehkonen]. Big moments, just doing the right thing.”

Zach Parise put the Avalanche in front 3-2 at 17:20. He scored on his own rebound after Hellebuyck was checked by Avalanche forward Yakov Trenin while playing the puck behind his net, allowing Cogliano to find Parise in front.

“I think we did a good job of realizing that’s a fluky one, right,” Connor said. “How many times does Connor [Hellebuyck] go back and play the puck and it’s bang-up, no problem. Our forwards can do a bit better job picking the forwards coming in, too. Maybe a little skate screen can help him out. It’s a team effort there, but at the same time I think that’s one of those you just brush off.”

COL@WPG R1, Gm2: Parise nets rebound to put Avalanche up in 2nd period

With seven seconds remaining in the second, Josh Manson came out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway to make it 4-2. Nathan MacKinnon’s stretch pass sprung Manson, who deked Hellebuyck and scored five-hole.

“Just to be able to put it away, that was nice,” Manson said. “It was obviously not my best effort in Game 1, so I wanted to focus on that. Those things happen like that sometimes, so it was nice.”

Valeri Nichushkin scored with a backhand into an empty net at 19:03 of the third period for the 5-2 final.

“It’s a playoff series. We’re good at home, they’re good at home,” Cogliano said. “We get a 1-1 split in a tough building, so I think we take the positives from that and now we go home to a place we’re pretty comfortable playing.”

NOTES: Avalanche defenseman Sean Walker left the game after colliding in the corner with Jets center Vladislav Namestnikov in the third period. “Yeah, he’s fine, completely fine,” Bednar said. … MacKinnon’s assist on Manson’s goal was his 58th in the playoffs, surpassing Peter Stastny for fourth place on the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques all-time list.

Related Content