DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche commenced the celebration on the bench because the clock ran out in regulation. It secured the factor they had to earn a postseason spot.
The celebration that spilled onto the ice moments later? That became just a pleasant bonus.
Erik Johnson scored 1:49 into overtime, Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves, and the Avalanche clinched a playoff berth by rallying from a -intention deficit to conquer the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Thursday night.
Johnson took a feed from Nathan MacKinnon and knocked it past Connor Hellebuyck for the winner. “To ship our crowd into a frenzy felt accurate,” Johnson stated. “Anytime you rating a goal in additional time, it’s a laugh.” The Avalanche went 8-0-2 down the stretch to comfy a wild-card role for a 2nd direct season. They trail Dallas with the aid of a factor for the primary wild card in the Western Conference. The Stars nevertheless have two games last.
“To kick down the front door and get inside the playoffs and end the way we finished is a high-quality activity by our leaders, by way of all the men stepping up,” Avalanche educate Jared Bednar said. “I love the person and push and determination and could-to-win from our organization.
Winnipeg’s loss changed into a huge blow in its quest to capture the Central Division crown. The Jets fell a point behind Nashville and dropped into a tie with St. Louis with one recreation final. Winnipeg has long past 1-four-1 over its closing six video games.
Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers scored first-length dreams for the Jets, whilst Hellebuyck made 35 saves.
“We genuinely took a step from our remaining couple video games, and we fought for our sport,” Ehlers stated. “We were given some of our identification again, and that’s what we need to preserve operating on now.” Just like Tuesday, the Avalanche fell behind with the aid of two goals. Like Tuesday, after they spoke back with six unanswered goals to beat Edmonton, the Avalanche recovered.
Tyson Barrie scored in the second length, and Carl Soderberg tied it up with the nine:25 final.
But matters were disturbing down the stretch. Colorado changed into known as for too many skaters on the ice with 1:26 left. The Jets couldn’t get something beyond Grubauer, putting the level for Johnson’s large goal. After the sport, the Avalanche gave away jerseys as part of fan appreciation night. The larger prize of the route was this: Earning a playoff spot in again-to-lower back seasons for the first time because of making eleven straight appearances from 1994-95 to ’05-06.
“It’s a good feeling, however loads of work left to be executed,” Johnson stated. “Man, we made it so difficult on ourselves; too many guys with (1:26) left. You have to have heard the groans on the bench. We have been like, ‘You have were given to be kidding me.’
“It became loud in there, and it positively becomes fun. I can’t wait to play in front of those enthusiasts inside the playoffs.
Scheifele was given the Jets on the board first as he poked the percent into the net just earlier than Blake Wheeler tumbled over the lower back of Grubauer. The Avalanche challenged the play for goaltender interference. However, the officers upheld the decision.
Ehlers extended the cause 2-0 towards the cease of the primary using knocking in the percent as he fell to his knees. It was his 20th intention of the season.
“We did all of the right things throughout the sport, which we had been seeking out, Scheifele stated. “Obviously, we desired the win, but you need to take positives out of it.”
NOTES: Jets C Mathieu Perreault was hit in the face with the aid of the % with 7:38 ultimate. … Jets LW Brandon Tanev became despatched domestic to have his hand examined.
We’ll get an assessment within the early part of next week as to the path we’re going to go along with it, educate Paul Maurice told the media Thursday. Avs F Mikko Rantanen missed a seventh immediately game with a higher-frame injury. He did some light skating Thursday morning. … Colorado completed the everyday season 21-14-6 at Pepsi Center. … Barrie’s fifty-nine factors this season are the maximum by way of an Avs defenseman in view that Ray Bourque had fifty-nine in ’00-01.