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game recap

Avalanche top Jets, end eight-game losing streak

Varlamov makes 24 saves, Toninato scores first NHL goal for Colorado

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

Toninato's first career goal

COL@WPG: Toninato pots rebound for first NHL goal

Dominic Toninato crashes the net and jams a loose puck past Connor Hellebuyck to record his first career goal

  • 01:11 •

WINNIPEG -- The Colorado Avalanche ended a season-long eight-game losing streak with a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Thursday.

Dominic Toninato scored his first NHL goal, and Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for the Avalanche (23-23-11), who were 0-5-3 during the streak.

"It felt great," Toninato said. "It felt great getting the first one out of the way and I can just concentrate on playing my game. But most importantly, we got the win. We've been struggling for that, so it was nice to get the win and hopefully we can get rolling now."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Jets highlights]

 

Brandon Tanev scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets (36-19-3), who lost at home for the first time in regulation since a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 29 (8-0-1 previous nine games).

"They were a desperate team," Jets forward Blake Wheeler said. "It's been going tough for them. There was a certain amount of desperation in their game. We weren't able to match it often enough."

Toninato, who was playing in his 38th NHL game, scored at 5:21 of the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, pushing in a rebound from the top of the crease after a Jets turnover left A.J. Greer alone in front.

Gabriel Landeskog extended the lead to 2-0 at 10:29 on a backhand in front after taking a drop pass from Nathan MacKinnon. The goal was his 30th of the season, the first time he has reached that mark in the NHL

Video: COL@WPG: Landeskog goes top shelf with backhander

Tanev scored 24 seconds later to cut it to 2-1 with a wrist shot off the rush that redirected in off Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie's stick.

"Yeah, we knew they were going to be a desperate team coming in, and they were," Jets defenseman Tyler Myers said. "Give them credit, they played a good 60 minutes of hockey. We didn't. I thought we got away from simplifying our game a little bit. But we've regrouped and bounced back before. We'll do it next game."

J.T. Compher scored shorthanded on a breakaway at 6:12 of the second period to push the lead to 3-1, and Sven Andrighetto made it 4-1 with a one-timer on a 2-on-1 during a delayed penalty at 16:21 of the third period.

"Definitely feeling better now," Varlamov said. "The win tastes great. It's been some tough times we've been going through the past two months (4-13-5 in past 22 games). The stats aren't great, we're losing a lot of games and stuff. We needed this one so bad. We knew how hard, how tough the game was going to be. I'm very proud of the team, the way that they played tonight."

Video: COL@WPG: Compher beats Hellebuyck on break for SHG

 

They said it

"We needed that [win]. We needed that bad. And it's not just the win, it's the way our team played. Fantastic team effort, real strong commitment to check. All the details of our game and the whole lineup, no passengers. I liked a lot of things we did. Our penalty kill was really good, our top line was going right away." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

Video: COL@WPG: Varlamov makes flurry of saves to deny Jets

 

"As forwards, we got to work hard to give the [defense] something off the net. Teams are collapsing real tight on us down low and our [defensemen] are open. Then they expand. We've got to be able to give these guys something to shoot at off the net. We're just getting too many blocked, losing possession time on that. Those are some ideas we can try to incorporate, at the very least keep our possession going so we're not exiting the zone after that." -- Jets forward Blake Wheeler

 

Need to know

Landeskog is one point shy of 400 in the NHL. … Tanev's goal was his first in 11 games. … Winnipeg is 2-3-0 in its past five games. … Greer's assist on Toninato's goal was his first point of the season.

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced attack propels Avalanche past Jets, 4-1

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