Alexandar Georgiev rebounds, Avs roar back with second-period flurry in Game 2 win over Jets

Corey Masisak, The Denver Post on

Published in Hockey

WINNIPEG — The margins are never thinner, and the swings are never greater than in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Colorado Avalanche was centimeters from a potentially back-breaking goal and about 27 minutes from a 2-0 series deficit Tuesday night at Canada Life Centre. A few minutes later, the Avs had control of the game and a period later had stolen home-ice advantage from the Winnipeg Jets in this opening-round series.

Artturi Lehkonen, Zach Parise and Josh Manson scored during a potentially series-shifting flurry late in the second period, and the Avalanche claimed a 5-2 victory in Game 2 to even this best-of-seven series at one game each. Game 3 is Friday night at Ball Arena.

Alexandar Georgiev, who allowed seven goals on 23 shots in Game 1, had a significant rebound performance with 28 saves. The Whiteout crowd in Winnipeg chanted his name and gave him a Bronx cheer nearly every time he stopped the puck on a dump-in from the Jets, but the beleaguered goaltender didn’t waiver after an early goal allowed and outplayed the guy at the other end of the ice who is the presumptive 2024 Vezina Trophy winner.

Josh Manson turned the puck over in his own zone while trying to get it to his defense partner Jack Johnson. The Jets had a chance to grab a two-goal lead late in the second period, but Kyle Connor, one of the best pure shooters in the sport, fired a rocket off the left post. Gabe Vilardi had a chance on the rebound, but Georgiev got to that one.

The Avs proceeded to rip off three goals in the final six minutes of the period to grab control of the game. Lehkonen got it started by deflecting a shot from Cale Makar with 5:44 left after some strong work from the top line to even the score at 2-2.

Parise gave the Avs the lead with 2:40 left in the period. Yakov Trenin forechecked Connor Hellebuyck into a costly gaffe. Andrew Cogliano collected the puck and got it out in front, where Parise eventually guided it over the goal line on his second attempt. It was the first playoff goal since 2021 for Parise, who came out of semi-retirement to join the club at the All-Star break and is seeking his first Stanley Cup at age 39.


Manson had two mistakes that proceeded Jets goals in Game 1 and nearly had one earlier in the period, but he came out of the penalty box after matching minors with Vilardi to score with 6.9 seconds left in the period. Nathan MacKinnon sent him a pass from the Avs zone that one of the referees had to jump over to avoid, then Manson made a nifty move to beat Hellebuyck through the five hole to put Colorado ahead 4-2.

David Gustafsson put the Jets on the board first with a goal 3:15 into the opening period. A point shot and a battle in front caused Georgiev to lunge to his left, but the puck never got there and Gustafson took advantage.

Miles Wood scored for the second time in as many games to make it 1-1. The puck came right to him off a faceoff and his quick shot surprised Hellebuyck along the ice at 1:59 of the second period. Wood had two goals in 13 career playoff games in seven seasons with the Devils before joining the Avs this past offseason.

Mark Scheifele put Winnipeg back in front 2-1 with a beautiful one-handed deflection goal at 8:37. The Jets had just killed off a four-minute Colorado power play and Vilardi fed Scheifele driving to the net.

The Jets were an inch away from making it 3-1 and possibly grabbing a stranglehold on the series. The iron was not kind to Connor, and the Avs didn’t look back.

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