Skip to Main Content
game recap

Avalanche clinch playoff berth, defeat Jets in OT

Johnson completes comeback at 1:49; Winnipeg drops into second in Central

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

Johnson buries overtime winner

WPG@COL: Johnson wins it in OT after Avalanche clinch

Erik Johnson collects Nathan MacKinnon's pass on the rush and scores the overtime winner after the Avalanche clinch a playoff spot

  • 01:04 •

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Erik Johnson won it at 1:49 for Colorado (38-29-14), which advanced to the playoffs for the second consecutive season and is 8-0-2 in its past 10 games. The Avalanche are one point behind the Dallas Stars for the first wild card from the Western Conference.

Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves for Colorado, which trailed 2-0 for the third straight game.


[WATCH: All Jets vs. Avalanche highlights]


"It's pretty awesome," Grubauer said. "The cards are freshly mixed again and it's a new table for everybody here to play. I think with the momentum we are coming in with and if we play our game … looking forward to it."

Winnipeg (46-30-5), which has lost five of its past six games (1-4-1), fell into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for second place in the Central Division, one point behind the Nashville Predators. Each team has one game remaining.

Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves.

"The result, it (stinks)," Ehlers said. "We wanted the two points here tonight and I think everyone who watched this game could see that. We really took a step from our last couple of games. We fought, we got some of our identity back, and that's what we need to keep working on now."

Video: WPG@COL: Avs earn point to clinch playoff berth

Needing one point to clinch, the Avalanche killed off a penalty for too many men in the final 1:26 of regulation.

"Man, we made it so tough on ourselves -- too many men with [1:26] left," Johnson said. "You should have heard the groans on the bench. We were like, 'You have got to be kidding me.' We killed it off, they hit a pipe. I did a freaking backflip trying to block a [Patrik] Laine shot. It was loud in there, it sure was fun. I can't wait to play in front of those fans in the playoffs."

Said Grubauer: "I never celebrated overtime before. That was kind of weird, but I'm glad we made it. It shows the character of the team battling back from 2-0 deficits. It's been fun and now the real fun starts."

Scheifele gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 10:12 of the first period when he jammed in a rebound during a scrum at the right post. After the Situation Room confirmed the puck crossed the goal line, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld after a video review.

Video: WPG@COL: Scheifele cleans up in front to open scoring

Ehlers made it 2-0 at 17:50, scoring from in front five-hole on a rebound of Jacob Trouba's shot from the right point.

Barrie cut it to 2-1 at 5:17 of the second period, skating down the right wing to the bottom of the circle before scoring top shelf short side.

Soderberg tied it 2-2 at 10:35 of the third period on a redirection of Tyson Jost's initial shot five-hole in the low slot.

"I was happy to see it go in," Soderberg said. "We played pretty good hockey. When we scored that one, I think we felt that was it. But it's going to be tough being down two goals in the playoffs, so we have to clean that up."

Video: WPG@COL: Soderberg ties it up with deft redirection


They said it

"We've got to take positives out of it. We came out hard, we battled for each other, we blocked shots. We did all the right things throughout the game which we were looking to do. You want to win every game. They got a bit of a lucky one to tie it up, but you have to like most of our game." -- Jets forward Mark Scheifele

"It feels good. I like the fact we're in and I feel like our guys deserve it. If you look at what we've done here to kick in the front door to get into the playoffs -- 8-0-2 in our last 10 -- we bounced around for a little bit, but the commitment and the work from our group, especially over the last month or so, has been outstanding. I feel like we've been playing our best hockey at the right time and we deserve to be in." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Johnson seals the victory


Need to know

Barrie has 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists), the most by an Avalanche defenseman since Ray Bourque had 59 points in 2000-01. Sandis Ozolinsh is the only defenseman in Colorado history to reach 60 points (68 in 1996-97). … Grubauer is 7-0-2 in his past nine starts. … Colorado won its final six home games and went 11-2-1 in the final 14. … Jets forward Blake Wheeler has gone 11 games without a goal after scoring eight in his previous seven games.


What's next

Jets: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, CITY, SNW, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA+, ALT, NHL.TV)

Video: Johnson scores in OT as Avs clinch playoff berth

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.