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game recap

Avalanche defeat Jets, end nine-game losing streak

Jarome Iginla scores, Matt Duchene has three assists in first win since Jan. 6

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist to help the Colorado Avalanche end a nine-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Matt Nieto scored twice, including an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left, for the Avalanche (14-33-2). Matt Duchene tied his NHL career high with three assists, and Calvin Pickard made 23 saves to end his three-game losing streak.

Colorado was 0-8-1, with five home losses in a row, since a 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Islanders on Jan. 6.

"It felt good, we had fun again, that's what we have to find again," Iginla said. "It's a fine line, it's not just all the laughs and giggles, but you have to have some fun while you're competing and battling and not be worried about making mistakes."


WATCH: All Jets vs. Avalanche highlights 


Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves for the Jets (25-26-4), who ended a four-game road trip 3-1-0.

"We had a number of players, and a big number, that weren't at their A game," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "Our goaltender was really good again and we didn't have a whole lot going up front. We didn't spend enough time in the offensive zone, which is what we're really good at."

Colorado took a 3-2 lead at 8:03 of the second period on Nieto's third goal of the season. He passed to Patrick Wiercioch for a shot that bounced off the end boards into the right circle and knocked the puck into an open net.

Carl Soderberg made it 4-2 at 2:04 of the third period by converting Iginla's pass for his fifth goal, first in 24 games.

"Not so much relief, but I'm just happy for our guys," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I thought it was an overall great team effort from start to finish, and to get rewarded for that effort, it's something that we needed. Different guys stepped up and had some success. We had contributions from all four lines. It's nice to see that for our guys."

Winnipeg, which trailed 1-0 and 2-1, tied it 2-2 on a power-play goal by Adam Lowry, his second goal of the game, 29 seconds into the second period. He converted the rebound of Blake Wheeler's shot for his ninth goal. Lowry ended a 21-game drought with a first-period goal.

Video: WPG@COL: MacKinnon slips a backhander past Pavelec

Iginla made it 1-0 at 5:27 on a power play for his seventh of the season and 618th of his NHL career, seven behind Colorado general manager Joe Sakic, who is 15th all-time. Iginla scored from the top of the left circle with a wrist shot inside the near post.

The Jets tied it 1-1 at 9:35 on Lowry's first goal before Nathan MacKinnon put the Avalanche in front 2-1 at 14:35 with his 12th.


Goal of the game

Soderberg gave the Avalanche a two-goal lead with a shot that beat Pavelec to the stick side.

Video: WPG@COL: Soderberg beats Pavelec from the slot


Save of the game

Pavelec stopped MacKinnon, who was open in the slot, at 6:00 of the second period.

Video: WPG@COL: Pavelec knocks away MacKinnon's wrister


Highlight of the game

Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov had three hits, including one on Jets forward Mark Scheifele at 9:42 of the third period that resulted in a charging penalty.

"Man, did he level some guys," Duchene said.


Unsung performance of the game

Duchene won 20 of 24 faceoffs (83 percent), the second highest total of his NHL career.


They said it

"It's exciting and it feels great, but at the same time it's a little frustrating too because we showed the type of team we can be if we play the way we can play, when guys are playing and working smart and hard. We're going to try and enjoy the small victories now, and today was a big win over a good hockey team." -- Avalanche forward Matt Duchene


"Give credit to the Avalanche, they played a solid game and didn't really give us a lot of opportunities. We got caught puck-watching a little too much tonight. For whatever reason, their speed kind of dictated the game." -- Jets forward Adam Lowry


Need to know

Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie was scratched because of a lower-body injury. ... Jets forward Drew Stafford took part in warmups but missed his sixth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. "We'll get another [practice] on him and if he clears that then he'll be able to play," Maurice said. ... Defenseman Mark Barberio played 20:31 in his Colorado debut after being claimed on waivers Thursday from the Montreal Canadiens.


What's next

Jets: Host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV).

Avalanche: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV)


Video: Nieto's two goals power Avalanche to 5-2 win

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