Monday, January 18, 2016 / Game 47
MTS Centre / Winnipeg, Manitoba
It was another sweet trip to Winnipeg for the Colorado Avalanche, as they came out on top of the Jets by a score of 2-1 on Monday evening. Colorado is now 3-0 against the Jets this season, including two victories on the road in Winnipeg.
The first period was scoreless between the two teams, as goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Connor Hellebuyck each started the game off hot. The Jets seemed to dictate more of the play in the opening frame, generating a number of scoring chances in front of Varlamov, but he stopped all 12 shots he faced. Hellebuyck saved all 10 of the shots he faced from the Avs.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to start once the puck dropped for the second period, as Carl Soderberg netted his ninth goal of the season at 1:16 of the second — assisted by Nick Holden and Blake Comeau. Later in the period, the Avalanche made it 2-0 when Jarome Iginla scored on the power play at 19:42, with assists from Soderberg and Alex Tanguay. The goal was Iginla’s 13th of the season.
Colorado took that 2-0 lead into the third period and really honed-in defensively for the rest of the game. Despite allowing 16 shots on goal by the Jets in the third, the Avalanche held off the Jets to capture the victory. Winnipeg did make it closer with a goal by former Buffalo Sabres first round pick Joel Armia with 42 second left, so it was a good thing the Avs’ got that second goal by Iginla.
Semyon Varlamov was outstanding in his return to the net — yielding the past two starts to Calvin Pickard — by stopping 36-of-37 shots he faced on the night. The win is Varly’s 16th of the season (16-12-2) and first in the past 10 days since he got the win against Nashville on January 8th.
- Semyon Varlamov — 36 saves, win
- Carl Soderberg — 1 goal, 1 assist
- Blake Wheeler — 10 shots
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jarome Iginla’s power play goal to give the Avs a two goal cushion before the second intermission ended up being an important goal, but it was also just simply a fantastic all around play by all players involved for the Avalanche.
Here is what Jarome had to say about the goal: “Off the draw we didn’t have much time left, I think 30 some seconds left in the period … Carl won a great battle there, went back to Tys’ — over to Tangs and Tangs did a nice job at giving Carl a look-away pass to give him some time, and Carl’s great on that down low pass. When I saw it come through I was trying to get it off as quick as I could and just get it on net and high, and fortunately it found a good spot.”
When Carl Soderberg finally broke the scoring in this game early in the second period, they also seemed to take control of all of the momentum in the game. The Jets played a better third period than second, but it was this first goal that set the tone for the Avalanche the rest of the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“It was a good win, they are really good in here. They always come out strong early in the first period and they did that again tonight, but we weathered it. Varly was great in there, and it had kind of a little of a playoff feel to the game. Pretty tight both ways — but we were able to get up a couple and hold onto it in the third.”
The victory bumps the Avalanche back into the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference for the moment, as they now have 49 points — one more than the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks. They are only three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the 7th spot, and number one wild card spot.
In one of the more anticipated games of the entire NHL schedule this season, Colorado comes back to Pepsi Center to play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, January 20th at 8:00pm MT. The reason for the interest in this game is it will be the first time the two teams play each other since this past summer’s blockbuster trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.
Should be a very fun night. Buy your tickets for Wednesday’s game below!