AVALANCHE

Huge second period propels Avalanche to big win, series all tied up

Apr 23, 2024, 10:19 PM | Updated: 10:33 pm

Avalanche Artturi Lehkonen...

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche are a resilient bunch.

They proved that against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their Round 1 series. It was a contest they simply had to have.

The Avs had a golden opportunity with things tied 1-1 in the second period, but couldn’t score on a four-minute power play after Cale Makar got hit in the face with a high-stick and drew blood.

Winnipeg killed it off and almost immediately scored on an odd-man rush, making it 2-1. Things looked momentarily bleak, but this Colorado team doesn’t quit.

Artturi Lehkonen scored off a tip from a Makar shot, Zach Parise got a gritty goal on a bad turnover from the Jets and Josh Manson netted a breakaway coming out of the penalty box with only seconds left in the frame.

Just like that it was 4-2 Avalanche in a six-minute stretch of game-time.

And this pass from Nathan MacKinnon is brilliant, stunning Winnipeg’s raucous arena.

The third period saw the Avs come out with a solid defensive mindset, and they were much better in their own zone than two nights ago. The final score ended up being 5-2, with Valeri Nichushkin adding a late empty-netter.

Now, with the series tied 1-1, Colorado certainly has new life. Things were rough on Sunday night, after Alexandar Georgiev gave up seven goals on just 23 shots.

But he was significantly improved on Tuesday, not letting things get out of hand after an early goal made it 1-0 Winnipeg. Georgiev allowed just two goals on 30 shots, drastically improving his .696 postseason save percentage. He made several clutch saves down the stretch as the Jets tried to rally and get back in the game.

The fun shifts to Denver on Friday night, where Ball Arena should be rocking.

The Avalanche have stolen home-ice advantage in this series, and a path toward Round 2 now looks much more visible.

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