The Colorado Avalanche have not been a successful team as of late. Before this match against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night, the Avalanche had only won three times in their last 20 games according to NHL.com. With that being said, the result of this contest versus the Jets was a pleasant surprise for Avalanche fans.
The Avalanche managed to pull off an impressive 4-1 road victory against a tough Jets squad who are an even bigger challenge to beat when they’re in their own building. The win also snaps a lengthy eight-game losing streak for the Avalanche. It was the first time in a staggering 26 days that the Avalanche could salvage two points in a single contest according to NHL.com. The team had a record of 0-5-3 during this stretch.
The game began with the rare occurrence of the Avalanche striking first. Forward Dominic Toninato scored his first career NHL goal a little over five minutes into the contest. The 24-year-old jammed the puck past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck after teammate A.J. Greer was having some trouble gaining possession in front of the net.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog would put the Avalanche up by a pair just under 10 and a half minutes into the first period. The Swedish native flipped the puck over the shoulder of Hellebuyck after completing a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play that started with forwards Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. On top of that, this tally would give Landeskog his first 30-goal season of his NHL career according to NHL.com.
However, the Jets would respond less than 30 seconds later. Left-winger Brandon Tanev recorded the only goal and point for the Jets during this game after the 27-year-old rifled a wrist shot upstairs and over the shoulder of goaltender Semyon Varlamov to cut the Avalanche’s lead in half.
Left-winger J.T. Compher scored the only goal of the second stanza. The 23-year-old managed to notch a short-handed tally while on a breakaway after receiving a crisp up ice pass by teammate Matt Nieto. The goal occurred a little over six minutes into the frame to put the Avalanche up 3-1.
The third period mirrored the second with only one puck finding the back of the net. Right-winger Sven Andrighetto unloaded a blistering slap shot from inside the right faceoff circle with a little less that four minutes left in the game to seal the deal for the Avalanche.
With the win, the Avalanche are now back at .500 with a record of 23-23-11 and 57 points. Despite going 4-13-5 in their last 22 contests, the Avalanche sit only three points back of the final wild card spot which is currently occupied by the Minnesota Wild who have a record of 27-25-6 and 60 points. Fortunately for the Avalanche, they have only played 56 games so far while the Wild have already played 58.
The Avalanche will play their next contest at home against the red-hot St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. The Blues are currently on an eight-game winning streak and have beaten the Avalanche twice this season in overtime by scores of 3-2 and 4-3. If the Avalanche can pull of a victory, it will be their first win against the Blues this year and their first winning streak since November, 28.