Soderberg’s goal, assist lift Avalanche over Jets 2-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche sacrificed their bodies Monday night and it paid off with a win.
Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist, and the Avalanche blocked 21 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
“We did a great job blocking the shots,” said Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov, who made 36 saves.
Jarome Iginla scored his 13th of the season for the Avalanche. It was his 602nd NHL goal, moving him ahead of Jari Kurri for sole possession of 18th place on the career list.
Joel Armia had his second NHL goal for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 shots.
The Jets only got in front of eight Colorado shots. It made a difference, said Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, who assisted on Armia’s goal.
“They did a good job blocking shots,” Perreault said. “Sometimes, you’re kind of holding on for a split second and they get in that lane.
“I think I had a lot of shots blocked tonight, so I’ve got to maybe work on that a little bit. Get my shot off a little quicker so they don’t have time to get in the lane.”
Perreault had two of his seven shots blocked.
Jets leading scorer Blake Wheeler had 17 shot attempts, with 10 stopped by Varlamov, four blocked and three misses, including a late one that hit the post. Wheeler’s 10 shots on goal were a career high.
“When you play against those guys with skills you’ve got to be on them the whole time,” Varlamov said. “You can’t let them create chances around the net or they’re going to score.”
The Jets again failed in an attempt to win a third straight game this season.
“We’re kind of having a little blockage here,” Perreault said. “We’ve just got to find a way to get it done.
“This time of the year, with the standings, where we’re sitting, those are huge points we left on the table. So we’ve got to bear down here, get going.”
Colorado has beaten the Jets in three of the five games they’ll play this season.
“There’s not one reason I can come up with,” Iginla said. “Every time we play them we have a lot of respect for them. It’s a good divisional battle.
“It was a playoff-style game with the implications in the standings. There is still lots of time left, but these four-point games are really big.”
Playing the opener of a six-game homestand, their longest of the season, the Jets were without injured forwards Adam Lowry, Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford.
Soderberg scored his ninth goal off a rebound at 1:16 of the second period. The Avalanche have scored first in 30 of 47 games this season.
Colorado boosted its lead to 2-0 on the power play after Wheeler was called for interference.
Soderberg sent a pass from beside the net out to Iginla, whose shot at 19:42 went over Hellebuyck’s blocker when the rookie goalie couldn’t get back over fast enough.
“It’s a set play, for sure,” Soderberg said. “You have to mix it up a bit sometimes. Today, he was open there.”
Armia scored with the extra attacker with 42 seconds left in the game, preventing a shutout.
Winnipeg hosts Nashville on Thursday, while Colorado returns home to play Buffalo on Wednesday.