The Winnipeg Jets’ hot streak on home ice came to a screeching halt on Thursday.
A desperate Colorado Avalanche team ended an eight-game losing skid as they beat the Jets 4-1 at Bell MTS Place.
Dominic Toninato, Gabriel Landeskog, J.T. Compher and Sven Andrighetto all had markers as the Avs defeated the Jets for the first time this season. The Jets had won their previous two meetings.
“They were a desperate team,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said.
“It’s been going tough for them, and there’s a certain amount of desperation in their game, and we weren’t able to match it often enough.”
It was the Jets’ first loss in regulation time at Bell MTS Place since a 3-1 defeat to the Minnesota Wild on December 29. They went 8-0-1 on home ice during that stretch.
“We were just a step off it tonight,” said Jets defenceman Tyler Myers.
“We knew they were going to be a desperate team coming in, and they were. Give them credit. They played a good 60 minutes of hockey — we didn’t. I thought we got away from simplifying our game a little bit. But we’ve re-grouped and bounced back before. We’ll do it next game.”
Brandon Tanev scored the only goal for Winnipeg as they saw a short two-game win streak come to a halt.
“I think they were hard on pucks and played a tight gap, and we just need to continue to play simple, and play to our strengths,” Tanev said. “I think we got away from that, but it’s a learning lesson and we move on.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 31 stops, including several on breakaways.
The Jets were 0-for-4 on the powerplay, and even surrendered a shorthanded goal.
Semyon Varlamov had 24 saves for Colorado.
WATCH: Winnipeg Jets Post Game Reaction
The Avalanche struck first just past the five-minute mark. A.J. Greer found himself all alone in the front of the Jets’ net. He couldn’t stuff it past Hellebuyck, but Toninato sent in the rebound for his first career NHL goal. Erik Johnson also had an assist for the Avs.
Colorado extended their lead just a short time later. Josh Morrissey turned the puck over in the Jets’ zone. The puck found its way to Landeskog on his way to the net, and his backhand hit the crossbar and bounced off Hellebuyck and into the goal. Landeskog’s 30th of the season was assisted by Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen
But the Jets answered back just 24 seconds later. Brandon Tanev’s long shot from near the side boards fooled Varlamov. Tanev’s 12th of the campaign was unassisted and the Jets trailed by a goal after the first period.
The Avs restored the two-goal cushion six minutes into the middle frame. Compher came busting in on a shorthanded breakaway, and he made a nifty move to tuck the puck behind Hellebuyck. Matthew Nieto had the only assist on Compher’s 12th goal of the season.
It was the only goal of the period in which the Avalanche outshot the Jets 12-9.
The Avalanche scored an insurance marker with 3:39 left in the third period. On a 2-on-1, Nieto setup Andrighetto, and he buried the shot on Hellebuyck for his fourth goal of the season. Brandon’s Matt Calvert drew the other assist and the Avalanche skated to a 4-1 win.
Dmitry Kulikov, Nic Petan, and Nikolaj Ehlers all sat out for Winnipeg. Gabriel Bourque, and Sheldon Dries were scratched for the Avs.
The Jets will conclude their three-game homestand on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 pm at Bell MTS Place.