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Makar scores OT winner for Avalanche with Jets’ playoff hopes fading
WINNIPEG — Cale Makar scored 2:42 into overtime on the power play to lift the league-leading Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the struggling Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
The Avalanche extended their win streak to five games. Andre Burakovsky and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and an assist. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon also scored. Makar added an assist.
Pavel Francouz stopped 39 shots for Colorado (51-14-6), which is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games and finishes a three-game road trip Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers both scored twice and added an assist each for Winnipeg (33-29-10), which is winless in four games (0-3-1).
Scheifele’s second goal squeezed the score 4-3 with 3:35 left in the third period.
Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen then took a penalty with 44 seconds left. The Jets pulled Hellebuyck for a two-man advantage and Ehlers scored with 16 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
The elation didn’t last long when Ehlers was called for slashing MacKinnon 45 seconds into the extra period and Maker notched his 25th goal of the season.
Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves in his 60th game of the season for the Jets, who ended a three-game homestand with an 0-2-1 record.
The Jets are seven points behind the idle Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vegas and Vancouver are also in the mix and didn’t play.
Winnipeg was without captain Blake Wheeler (upper body), who was injured in last Wednesday’s loss to Detroit.
The Jets led 2-1 after the first period and the Avalanche held a 3-2 lead after the second.
Colorado got a lucky bounce on its first goal. Aube-Kubel’s pass to the front of the net hit the skate of Jets defenceman Brenden Dillon and went into the net at 5:10 of the opening period.
Winnipeg then killed off a penalty before tying the game with Scheifele’s 28th goal of the season.
Scheifele and Ehlers paired up for a two-on-one, with Ehlers passing to Scheifele at the side of the net for a low shot that went by Francouz’s skate at 10:32.
Ehlers made it 2-1 after a failed breakout attempt by the Avalanche. Scheifele got the puck and sent it to Ehlers in front of the net, who poked in his own rebound with 2:25 left in the period.
Burakovsky recorded his 20th goal of the season to tie it up at 3:55 of the second period.
A Winnipeg turnover led to Johnson putting the Avs ahead 3-2 at 9:11.
Francouz was kept busy in the middle period, stopping Scheifele coming in alone at him, making a glove save on a blast from Jets defenceman Neal Pionk and denying Jets leading-scorer Kyle Connor.
Avalanche forward J.T. Compher got a penalty shot after being hooked by Dillon, but his backhand shot missed the net with 2:42 remaining.
Winnipeg got a power play, but couldn’t tie it before the buzzer ended the second period.
MacKinnon’s 25th goal of the season widened the gap to 4-2 at 4:04 of the third.
The Jets couldn’t capitalize on another power play, but Scheifele scored to get the fans cheering with 3:35 left and Ehlers’ goal had them jumping out of their seats.
Winnipeg travels to Ottawa for a Sunday game against the Senators.