Bryan Little scores in OT to lift Jets over Avalanche
Bryan Little had to watch the replay to make sure he had scored.
Yup, he got it.
Little scored at 4:35 of overtime, lifting the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd sent a long backhand toward Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, and Little deflected it in from the front of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
”Honestly, I didn’t think I did,” Little said. ”But then I saw the replay, and if I did, I didn’t feel it.
”I don’t know, ask Laddy.”
Ladd also scored his 100th goal with the Jets franchise at 6:35 of the first period. The assist was the 200th of his NHL career.
”I saw Lits at the net so I just figured we’d get some action there. You know, hope something lucky went in,” Ladd said.
”I think at that point, you really don’t want to mess around with plays up top so I thought it was the safe play and lucky it went in.”
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped 22 shots.
Jamie McGinn scored for Colorado, and Varlamov had 26 stops.
”I thought we had a lot of good chances in the first, we just didn’t score on those ones,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. ”Obviously, we had a few good looks also in overtime. (Gabriel Landeskog) had a chance there and then their goalie made a great save on that play. I thought it was a great game.”
Roy also praised Varlamov’s performance.
”I think Varly knows he played a really good game,” Roy said. ”I don’t think there’s much to be said there. I thought we played well in front of him.”
Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson left after being checked into the boards in the third period, but Roy said he hadn’t talked to the trainer about his status.
Both teams had power-play chances late in regulation.
With 3:32 to go, Jets forward Mathieu Perreault was called for holding, giving the Avalanche their fourth power play of the game.
Winnipeg then went on its third power play after forward John Mitchell was called for tripping with 1:18 left. It had a shot blocked and another stopped by Varlamov.
Pavelec also stopped a one-timer by defenseman Tyson Barrie.
Winnipeg spent a lot of time in Colorado’s end at the start of the game and it paid off when Ladd stood in front of the net and redirected Zach Bogosian’s shot from the point through Varlamov’s legs at 6:25.
The Jets were unsuccessful on their only power-play opportunity in the first. But the Avalanche used the man advantage to tie the game with 18 seconds left in the period.
With Bogosian serving a double minor for high-sticking Matt Duchene, McGinn got his stick on a rebound off Barrie’s one-timer and earned his third goal of the season.
Barrie extended his point streak to four games (five assists, one goal). Alex Tanguay also got an assist, putting him on a four-game point streak (three goals, two assists).
”We easily could have won that hockey game,” Duchene said. ”Kind of a fluky one at the end there. I still don’t know how it ended up in the net. Even their first one there, tipped by Ladd in the front.”
The game got heated with 4:01 left in the second after Jets forward Dustin Byfuglien checked Barrie hard into the boards. Mitchell then came at Byfuglien, who smashed him to the ice, too.
Mitchell was assessed four minutes for roughing and Byfuglien received a roughing minor.
NOTES: Winnipeg heads out for a four-game road trip, starting Tuesday against the New York Islanders. … The Avalanche, who had a dominating 7-3 home win Friday against Vancouver, return home for a game against San Jose on Tuesday.