Winnipeg Jets suffer another loss to division foe

The Winnipeg Jets opened the pre-season with a 1-0 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Russ Hobson / Global News

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets thought they played good enough to win, but it was the Colorado Avalanche who went home with the two points. The Jets suffered another loss to a Central Division opponent in a 4-1 defeat to the Avalanche on Monday at MTS Centre. The Jets now have a 2-6 record against division rivals this season.

Carl Soderberg, Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene and Blake Comeau scored goals for the Avs while Toby Enstrom replied with the only goal for the Jets.

Making his first start since the injury to Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Hutchinson stopped 25 of 28 shots in taking the loss.

“We played well enough to win.” Hutchinson said. “It’s unfortunately that we didn’t but it’s one of those things we have to come out with the same effort for the rest of the season.”

Hutchinson’s teammates echoed the sentiment they deserved a better fate.

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“You know you don’t come out of too many losses thinking you deserve to win the game” Jets defenseman Tyler Myers said. “But you know we did a lot of really good things tonight. We controlled the puck in their end, I thought we could have done a better job of getting the puck to the net but there’s a lot of positives to take away from tonight’s game.”

The Jets were outshot 29-21 and although they controlled the play at times, they were unable to generate enough offensive chances.

“We weren’t able to get the pucks to the net, so two-thirds of our offence never got to their goaltender.” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “I thought we got into that in the 3rd, then tried to find a different way to get it there and a different way to do it and that wasn’t the recipe for success.”

The Avalanche had the best scoring chance in the early going. Comeau and McLeod raced in on a 2-on-1 but Hutchinson slid across to make a tremendous save to deny McLeod.

With 6:20 remaining in the opening period Enstrom sent a harmless looking wrist shot on goal from the blueline. The puck made its way through a maze of players and found the corner behind a screened Semyon Varlamov. Enstrom’s first goal of the season was assisted by Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd and the Jets took a one goal lead to the dressing room.

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Hutchinson would continue to shine in the Jets net but the Avs finally solved him with just over three minutes left in the second period. Soderberg sent the puck across the goal mouth and it appeared to ricochet in off the skate of Myers. Soderberg’s third goal of the season tied up the game at one.

The Jets started the third period shorthanded after Toby Enstrom was sent off with a double minor penalty for high sticking. But Hutchinson stood his ground and the Jets would kill of the penalties.

The Avalanche would continue to generate chances and nearing the midway point of the third period the puck deflected in off the skate of McLeod. The Binscarth, Manitoba product would get credit for his fifth goal of the season. Comeau and former Jets blueliner Zach Redmond recorded the assists and the Avalanche had their first lead of the game.

With just under four minutes left, Matt Duchene blew past Jacob Trouba and tucked the backhand in through the 5-hole for a two goal advantage. The goal extended Duchene’s point streak to seven games. Comeau scored into the empty net for the Avalanche’s fourth and final goal.

The Jets now head out on a three game road trip starting Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.

WATCH: Paul Maurice and Jets players discuss a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.