DENVER – Evander Kane helped Winnipeg stop Colorado’s long run of success at home by ending a streak of his own.
Kane scored twice to snap a season-high, seven-game streak without a goal, Ondrej Pavelec made 32 saves, and the Jets handed the Avalanche their first home loss in a month, 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“It was a big win for us. It was on the road, and we need to improve our road record,” Kane said after the Jets won for just the fifth time this season away from home. “In a lot of facets we rose to the occasion.”
Jim Slater and Tim Stapleton also had goals for the Jets.
Colorado’s home-winning streak was snapped at eight one night after the Avalanche broke a nine-game losing streak on the road with a 4-2 victory at Minnesota. The Avalanche avoided being shut out for a fifth time this season when Kevin Porter scored at 14:48 of the third period. They could have been dragging a bit after wrapping up a fourth back-to-back set this season.
“I think they had a little more jump. They had the fresher legs,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said after the Avalanche’s season-high tying, five-game winning streak was broken. “We had some opportunities, especially early, we didn’t capitalize on.”
Sacco said he still felt good about the way the Avalanche have played in recent weeks.
“It’s still a nice feather in the cap for a young team,” Sacco said of the home-winning streak. “We still feel like we’re playing well. We’re a good hockey team and we’ll regroup and get ready for our next opponent.”
Colorado fell behind from the outset and couldn’t solve Pavelec until late. Pavelec’s saves included a nifty stop on Daniel Winnik’s shot from point-blank range early in the third period. He also got in front of a slap shot from between the circles by Milan Hejduk later in the period.
Kane scored the game’s first goal 16:37 in, beating goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere with a wrist shot that sailed into the net over the goalie’s glove and giving his team a confidence boost.
“What really helped us was scoring the first goal,” Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. “We knew they played (Monday) night and travelled. We built some confidence off getting that first goal. The way Pavelec was playing, we recognized that it might have been enough to win the game.”
More than enough, as it turned out.
“It was a tough game for us, especially here in Colorado. It’s not easy to breathe here,” Pavelec said, referring to Denver’s mile-high altitude. “It was important that we score the first goal. We played a solid, overall game. They’re a pretty strong team at home. It’s a good win for us on the road.”
Winnipeg was on the power play when it took a 2-0 lead 1:21 into the second. Giguere couldn’t control a rebound, and Stapleton got to the puck at the doorstep and put it in for his 10th goal.
Kane scored his second goal of the night at 14:52 of the second. Chris Thorburn set him up for his fifth multi-goal game of the season with a pass across the slot that Kane knocked in from in close.
The Jets took advantage of a Colorado turnover in front of the net and scored their fourth goal. Slater jumped on the loose puck and put it in with a sweeping swing of his stick as he fell. Slater appeared to be shaken up on the play, and skated off the ice holding his side. He didn’t return.
NOTES: The Avalanche hadn’t lost at home since falling to Dallas on Nov. 28. … Winnipeg has scored 40 goals in the first period, second to Philadelphia’s 41. … Kane, playing in his 174th NHL game, has scored 50 career goals. … The Avs fell to 2-2 in the second of back-to-back games this season.