Winnipeg Jets Get a Point in Denver


WINNIPEG, MB. – Blake Wheeler’s super powers ran out at the end of regulation time on Tuesday night. But his heroics were certainly on display when a road point was at stake.

Granted, Captain Wheeler and his Winnipeg Jets lost a heartbreaker when Erik Johnson scored the winner with only 9.9 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory.

However, for the previous 25 minutes, it was the Blake Wheeler Show. With Winnipeg trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes, the Jets captain scored on the power play at the 47 second mark of the third period to make the score 2-1. Then, playing with the sixth attacker, Wheeler scored at 19:27 of the third – he’s 13th of the season — to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Patrik Laine drew assists on both goals.

However, in overtime the Jets threesome of defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and forwards Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault got caught in the Colorado zone and Johnson had himself a 125-foot breakaway on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. He made no mistake.

The Jets outshot Colorado 44-26, but starter Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves before he was injured in the second period. His replacement, Jonathan Bernier came in and stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced – five of them in overtime.

The Jets are now 3-0-1 in their last four, 2-0-1 since an injury to star firward Mark Scheifele. The Jets are now 23-11-6 and with 53 points in 41 games, they hold a one-point lead over the St. Louis Blues in the race for first in the Central Division. The Jets are also tied for second overall in the NHL with Washington and Los Angeles, just three points back of the expansion juggernaut, the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Jets return home on Thursday night to face the Buffalo Sabres at Bell MTS Place. Game time is 7 p.m.

Photo by James Carey Lauder