By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets need wins and they picked up a vital one tonight in a 5-4 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche at the MTS Centre. Here are your Quick Hits form the game:
How it happened: It took the Avalanches 20 seconds to score their first goal. After some sloppy defending form the Jets, who failed to clear their zone as the puck bobbled around, Ryan O’Reilly latched onto the puck and fired one that deflected off Bryan Little and into the net. Oh captain, my captain. Andrew Ladd produced the equalizer under three minutes later with a beautiful wrist shot that beat Avs’ netminder Reto Berra high glove side. The Jets would take their first lead of the night after a slick pass from Wheeler found an open Eric Tangradi in front, all alone, to tap in his second of the season. The Avalanche would respond before the end of the period, however, as captain Gabriel Landeskog potted his 21st of the season on a delay penalty against the Jets.
A complete bore for the first 12 minutes. After that? Evander Kane scored his second goal in his past three games after going 12 without prior to their 7-2 win over Dallas this past Sunday. Devin Setoguchi got his first assist in eight games on the goal and Paul Postma, who is filling in for Zach Bogosian, a late scratch, got his first point of the season. Nick Holden scored with 31 seconds left in the period to tie the game for the Avalanche on some soft, soft goaltending from Al Montoya. Other notable events including a spirited tilt between Anthony Peluso and Avs tough guy Patrick Bordeleau. Peluso landed some heavy shots and eventually took the big man down in a unanimous victory.
The Jets regained the lead on the power play after Andre Benoit took an interference call. Ladd was the beneficiary on the man-advantage, tallying his second of the night and 21st of the season. Tobias Enstrom picked up an assist on the goal, the 200th of his career. The Avs don’t go down that easily however, evidenced by a Cody McLeod goal that levelled affairs again after a failed pinch by Adam Pardy and some soft defence from Kane.
With no further scoring in the third, the game needed some free hockey. And who better to score than Blake Wheeler, ending a long goalless drought with his 24th of the season. Two vital points for the Jets.
What it means: They are still alive. With 11 games left, the Jets need to have an almost perfect run to give themselves a legitimate shot at some postseason hockey. One win at a time.
Jets player of the game: Eric Tangradi. You don’t hear that often, so savour it. Tangradi had a goal in the first period and played quite well defensively on the third line with Byfuglien out of the lineup. Andrew Ladd as had two goals. Not too shabby.
Jets stat of the game: A game of firsts (and a a second). Eric Tangradi picked up just his second goal of the season. Paul Postma picked up his first point of the year and Devin Setoguchi picked up his first assist since not being dealt on trade deadline day.
What is next for the Jets: The Jets don’t play again until Saturday when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Hockey Night in Canada at the MTS Centre.