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Game Recap: Avalanche Fall 3-2 To Jets

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No team in hockey has lost more games going into the 3rd Period with a lead. The Avs added to their total with tonight's collapse against last place Winnipeg.

This didn't go in, which tells you a lot about how the evening went.
This didn't go in, which tells you a lot about how the evening went.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a 2-0 advantage in the 2nd Period, the Colorado Avalanche proceeded to relinquish their lead with careless penalties and turnovers before the Jets completed their come-from-behind victory in hectic 3rd Period.

A scoreless 1st Period was wrought with high quality chances for both teams. Goalies Semyon Varlamov and Ondrej Pavelec made a myriad of great saves. Pavelec's rebound control, particularly, was outstanding all night long and gave the Avalanche very few second opportunities.

Matt Duchene would help get the scoring started in the 2nd when he stole the puck in his own zone, pushed the puck ahead, and narrowly dodged a pinching Dustin Byfuglien. After beating everyone into the Jets' zone, he stopped and flipped a long saucer pass to a trailing Erik Johnson, who buried the puck glove side to make it 1-0 Avalanche (Video).

They would strike again not two minutes later after Scott Kosmachuk skated through Varlamov on a breakaway opportunity, putting Colorado on the power play. During a mad scramble in front of the Winnipeg net, multiple Avalanche forwards had opportunities to jam the puck home. But only after a failed Pavelec attempt to cover the puck did Matt Duchene finally push it across the goal line. It was his second point on the night and his 29th goal on the year.

Mikkel Boedker nearly made it 3-0 later in the period trying to stuff the puck in a wide-open net. But instead of banking off the post and across the goal line, it improbably ricocheted parallel and denied the Avalanche a controlling lead they would later need.

The first setback occurred on the third of nearly three straight minor penalties on the Avs. The first two were questionable hooking penalties, the third was a clear-as-day trip on Cody McLeod. After more than a few failed clears by the league's hottest penalty kill unit, they finally yielded a goal to the red-hot Mark Scheifele -- a perfect blocker-side snipe that was most likely concealed by Francois Beauchemin, who had a tough night. The goal was Scheifele's 16th point in the last ten games and his 22nd on the year (Video).

Drew Stafford would keep it rolling in the 3rd. Blake Wheeler, who had been quiet much of the evening, centered the puck to a streaking Scheifele, who quickly fired a wrist shot on net. The rebound shot out front and Stafford was able to drive it home and tie the game at two on the second opportunity (Video).

But the bleeding wouldn't stop there. After a center-ice Zach Redmond turnover, Scott Kosmachuk skated into the Avs' zone with some speed and hit Adam Lowery with a pass. Semyon Varlamov was able to slide across and get into position, but the ensuing wrist shot trickled through to give Winnipeg its first lead with just over ten minutes remaining(Video).

The Avalanche would see plenty of excellent opportunities before time ran out, but they would ultimately not find the back of the net again. The loss would drop the Avalanche to 35-31-4, which was made worse earlier in the evening with the Minnesota Wild beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. With a game still in hand, the Wild climb back again into the final Wild Card position. Colorado plays the Canucks next in Vancouver on Wednesday.