January 3, 2018 6:24 am

Winnipeg Jets begin 2018 with overtime loss at Colorado

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, back, peers for the puck beneath defenseman Ben Chiarot after deflecting a Colorado Avalanche shot during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Denver. The Avalanche won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Winnipeg Jets outplayed the Colorado Avalanche for the most part on Tuesday Night in Denver. But the NHL Central Division leaders had to settle for a single point in a 3-2 overtime loss, when Avs defenceman Erik Johnson scored with just 9.9 seconds remaining in the extra period. Winnipeg out shot Colorado 44-26 in the game.

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Earlier in the extra session, Johnson stumbled, and that set up a Dustin Byfuglien breakaway. But the Jets blue liner just missed scoring what would have been his first goal of the season when the puck he shot between the pads of Jonathan Bernier deflected off the netminder’s skate and went wide of the net. Byfuglien was playing his first game since suffering an undisclosed lower body injury on December 9th in Tampa Bay.

Blake Wheeler extended his goal scoring streak to all three games since moving to center in place of the injured Mark Scheifele. Wheeler scored both Winnipeg goals in the third period, including the game tying marker with only 32.2 seconds remaining in regulation. The Jets captain now has four goals during that three game stretch.

Winnipeg is now 0-6 this season in three on three overtime, and 1-7 overall in extra time decisions when shootouts are factored into the equation. It was their second OT loss in Denver this season, as the Jets also lost 3-2 to Colorado back on November 29th.

Winnipeg is 23-11-7 at the midway point of their 82 game schedule and begin the second half Friday Night when they host the Buffalo Sabres in a 7 p.m. start at Bell MTS Place.

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