Pionk scores 2nd goal of game in OT, Jets beat Avalanche 4-3

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, right, reacts after giving up a goal to Colorado...
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, right, reacts after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen, left, who celebrates with right wing Valeri Nichushkin during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 9:29 PM MDT
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DENVER (AP) — Neal Pionk scored his second goal of the game 31 seconds into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets regrouped after squandering a two-goal lead to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Pionk’s slap shot from the right side froze goaltender Alexandar Georgiev as he scored his first career overtime goal. The Jets are 2-4-4 in their last 10 at Colorado.

Sam Gagner and Cole Perfetti also had goals for the Jets, who finish a difficult back-to-back with a game at Vegas on Thursday night. Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves.

Leading 3-1 in the second period, Winnipeg saw Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin score 2:01 apart to tie it. Rantanen led the comeback for Colorado with two goals and an assist in the second.

Nichushkin has scored in all four games this season. Rantanen’s two-goal night gives him 168 for his career. He moved into 10th place on the franchise goals list.

Hellebuyck kept the Jets in the game late by turning back a tricky snap shot from Alex Newhook and then another from Artturi Lehkonen. The Jets were outshot in the final period by a 9-5 margin.

The Jets found a way to neutralize the speed of Colorado in the first period by controlling the tempo. Gagner had a power-play goal and Pionk added another, but it could’ve been more than a two-goal cushion, if not for several split-second pad saves by Georgiev, the newest Avalanche goaltender.

On the other end, Hellebuyck was stopping everything, including a deflection off the stick of a Jets forward that flew into the air before fluttering into his glove.

LANDY OUT

Captain Gabriel Landeskog will be sidelined approximately 12 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday in Minnesota.

“Started bugging him when he started training and getting back on the ice,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar explained.

Landeskog sat out the final 23 games last season after undergoing knee surgery. He returned in time for the playoffs and had 11 goals and 11 assists to help the Avalanche win the franchise’s third Stanley Cup title.

THIS & THAT

Avalanche forward Martin Kaut was recalled from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League. Ben Meyers was reassigned to the Eagles. ... Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo played in his 400th NHL game. ... Georgiev made 24 saves.

UP NEXT

Jets: At Vegas to complete the first of 12 back-to-back sets this season.

Avalanche: Host Seattle on Friday before playing the next day in Vegas.