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game recap

Jets shut out Avalanche

Goalie Michael Hutchinson makes 37 saves, Paul Maurice gets 100th win as Winnipeg coach

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Michael Hutchinson made 37 saves and Shawn Matthias scored in the second period to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 at Pepsi Center on Friday.

Paul Maurice won his 100th game as Jets coach. Hired Jan. 12, 2014, Maurice is 100-81 with the Jets and 560-538-99 in his 19-year career. The shutout was Hutchinson's third in the NHL.

"He was spectacular, especially with all the chaos that was going on in front of the net," Maurice said of Hutchinson. "He got a piece on all the ones he needed to. I'm happy for him. He's worked hard, he's played three very strong games for us and he gets a statistical number that recognizes that."

The Jets (4-4-0) took the lead when Matthias scored at 8:29 of the second period on a one-timer from the right circle past goalie Semyon Varlamov off a cross-ice pass from Joel Armia. Varlamov made 20 saves.

The Jets signed Matthias to a two-year, $4.25 million contract July 1 after he left the Avalanche as an unrestricted free agent. Colorado tried to re-sign Matthias after acquiring him from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 21 for minor-league forward Colin Smith and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

"It's nice to score against your former team, always," said Matthias, who had six goals and five assists in 20 games with the Avalanche. "There's no animosity toward any old team. I'm playing hard for the Jets."

Video: WPG@COL: Hutchinson and the Jets secure the crease

The Avalanche (3-3-0) outshot the Jets 20-4 in the third period, but Hutchinson made several big saves, including three against Gabriel Landeskog and two each against Jarome Iginla and Blake Comeau.

"We knew they were going to have a push at some point and our guys did a great job," Hutchinson said. "They had a lot of shots in the third, but I don't think that's indicative of how our team played. I was happy with my game, but it wasn't a perfect game. I left some rebounds in areas where you don't want to put them."

The Jets played the second game of back-to-back nights after defeating the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Thursday. It was their fourth game in six days.

The Avalanche hadn't played since a 5-2 road loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The game was their second of the season at home and their first since a season-opening 6-5 win against Dallas Oct. 15.

"We knew with having all those days off there was a chance they could come out with a little bit of a slower start," Hutchinson said. "With us playing last night it was important to jump on them early, and our first period was great. After that, we started battling. It isn't an easy task and it was exactly what we had to do to get the win."

Video: WPG@COL: Hutchinson denies Martinsen's wrister

 

Goal of the game

After skating back and forth with the puck while being watched by the Avalanche's Mikhail Grigorenko along the left boards, Armia passed across to Matthias for a quick shot that beat Varlamov. "Armia made a great play," Matthias said. "I snuck around and Armia made a really nice heads-up play to me."

Video: WPG@COL: Matthias capitalizes on a cross-ice pass

 

Saves of the game

Hutchinson stopped Landeskog's shot from in close with his left pad at 5:10 of the second period during a Colorado power play. He poked the puck away from Joe Colborne, who was driving to the net, and covered it at 7:55 of the third after Nathan MacKinnon stole the puck from Jets defenseman Tyler Myers. Hutchinson denied Rene Bourque's shot from the slot with 2:50 left on another Avalanche power play.

Video: WPG@COL: Hutchinson's sliding save stones Colborne

 

Highlight of the game

After allowing at least one power-play goal in five of their first seven games, the Jets killed all three Avalanche power plays. "Their guys made some big blocks," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "You have to find a way to bury one of them."

 

Unsung moment of the game

Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelinas dived to knock the puck away from Jets right wing Nikolaj Ehlers to prevent a breakaway at 12:45 of the third period.

 

They said it

"It's never an easy thing playing back-to-back games, especially traveling from Winnipeg to Denver. It poses a lot of challenges, so we did a great job with that and it's something we should be proud of." -- Jets right wing Blake Wheeler

 

"Hutchinson played well. We missed a few open nets. It was tight the first two periods; in the third we really dominated. It stinks that's the way it ended. The Jets played well the first two periods, I thought we controlled the third." -- Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon

 

Video: WPG@COL: Varlamov deters a slew of shots in the 1st

 

Need to know

The Jets have won two games in a row after losing four of five ... Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen had two shots on goal in 18:16 of ice time in his first NHL game of the season ... Colorado has lost three of its past four.

 

What's next

Jets: Home against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; TSN3, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, ALT2, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Hutchinson, Jets silence Avalanche 1-0 in Denver

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