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Wheeler's OT strike lifts Jets over Avalanche
Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Wheeler scored 1:42 into overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
Wheeler carried the puck from the left wing into the right circle, waiting until a mass of bodies crowded the crease before firing a shot past Colorado goaltender Reto Berra.
Wheeler also had two assists for the Jets, who sit four points out of the second wild card position in the Western Conference. Andrew Ladd scored twice and Eric Tangradi and Evander Kane added one goal apiece.
Al Montoya stopped 23-of-27 shots for the victors.
Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Nick Holden and Cody McLeod lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who sit third in the Central Division, seven points back of the first-place St. Louis Blues.
Berra, the third goaltender on Colorado's roster, turned aside 22-of-27 shots in his first game with the Avalanche since they acquired him from the Calgary Flames.
The Avalanche drew first blood 20 seconds into the game when O'Reilly's shot deflected in off a Jets defenseman.
Ladd tied things up at the 3:15 mark when his shot from the left circle got past Berra.
Wheeler set up Winnipeg's next goal at 12:08. He carried the puck around the net before sliding a pass across the crease for Tangradi, who found the back of the net.
Colorado scored the final goal of the first stanza at the 17:47 mark. Landeskog put home a rebound off Andre Benoit's shot from the right point.
Kane put the Jets back in front at the 12:02 mark of the middle stanza after finishing off a pass from Devin Setoguchi.
With 30.5 seconds remaining in the second, Holden tied the game. Tyson Barrie's pass from the point resulted in Holden's goal from the bottom of the left circle.
Ladd made it 4-3 Jets at 4:48 of the third when his wrist shot from in close beat Berra. McLeod tied the contest at 10:23 when he kept the puck during a 2- on-1 rush and fired home for his third of the year.
Colorado went 3-0-2 against Winnipeg this season ... The Avs have lost two straight for the first time since Feb. 4-6 ... Colorado forwards John Mitchell and Paul Stastny missed the game due to back injuries.
03/19 23:30:51 ET
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