Jets 5, Avalanche 1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)
With their reunited top line scoring in bunches and their power play finally clicking, the Winnipeg Jets are peaking at the right time.
Bryan Little scored twice, Andrew Ladd made a goal and two assists and linemate Blake Wheeler added four assists Sunday night in a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche that moved the Jets into a tie with Toronto for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
''I think our whole line is playing really well,'' Wheeler said. ''When we were put together after the All-Star break, we made a conscious effort to make this thing work similar to how we did last year in Atlanta.''
Ondrej Pavelec made 31 saves to help the Jets, playing the second game in an eight-game homestand, increase their winning streak to three and close within a point of Southeast Division-leading Florida.
Evander Kane had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Wellwood also scored for Winnipeg.
''It's nice to finally see us put a few pucks in the net and get confidence,'' Ladd said. ''It's going to be such a big thing going forward here. The power play has to be here and hasn't been.''
Gabriel Landeskog scored for Colorado.
''Overall, we just weren't good enough in all areas of the game,'' Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. ''I don't think we had everybody here on deck tonight. In a big game like that, I would have expected a little bit more intensity from more guys.''
The Avalanche are tied with Dallas for 10th in the West.
''It's a big loss this time of the year,'' said Colorado forward Matt Duchene, who returned to the lineup after missing 20 games because of a knee injury. ''I think we carried the play in the second period. But they're a great team.''
The Jets improved to 18-9-2 in the raucous MTS Centre.
Kane opened the scoring at 1:45 of the second period, beating goalie Semyon Varlamov with a quick backhander through traffic from the left circle for his team-leading 22nd goal.
Little was the recipient of a gift from defenseman Erik Johnson, whose blind clearing attempt gave the Winnipeg center a wide-open net to shoot at 3:30 of the second.
Landeskog beat Pavelec low to the blocker side on a power play at 10:42 of the period. The rookie has 15 goals. The Jets restored their two-goal lead 46 seconds later when Kane's high shot ricocheted off the glass and Wellwood jammed it into the Colorado net.
Ladd and Little scored power-play goals in the third period to cap the scoring. Litle has 18 goals.
''The third I thought we played real well,'' Jets coach Claude Noel said. ''We got some good performances from a lot of guys and our power play came to life, which was good.''
NOTES: Varlamov finished with 20 saves. ... Winnipeg forward Eric Fehr returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous four games. Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian sat out his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury.