Jets beat avalanche 6-2 at home
The Winnipeg Jets have improved to 18-9-2 with a 6-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche from Canada Life Centre on Saturday night.
Opening the first half-ending homestand with a 6-2 win was probably not the expected score in a game between two teams looking to take the reins atop the NHL's Central Division.
On Saturday night, the Jets showed up to play, and the Avalanche did not.
Gabe Vilardi scored twice, while six different Jets recorded multi-point efforts on the night. Vlad Namestnikov, Alex Iafallo, Nino Niederretier and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which now plays three more games at home before taking a slight break for the Christmas holiday.
Vilardi's second goal and Iafallo's lone marker were the Jets' prettiest tallies of the game, with both former Kings showing up to play just one game after former Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois was held to just one assist in Winnipeg's 5-2 win in Los Angeles.
Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced and picked up his league-leading 15th win of the season in the process.
The extended photo library from Saturday's game vs. Colorado is courtesy of Scott Stroh:
Alex Iafallo on his recent goal-scoring drought:
“Yeah, for sure. Definitely, you think about it all the time. Obviously you want to chip in offensively, but sometimes you’ve just got to stick with it and try to play the right way and good things will happen. That’s kind of what I was going through the last few weeks, just trying to help as much as I can.”
Rick Bowness on the play of Gabe Vilardi:
“He’s got great hands, he’s got great patience with the puck. And he sees the ice really well. Big strong guy that’s hard to play against, but it’s his patience with the puck and his skill level is really, really underrated. So he makes plays, he’s great around the net, but I love his patience with the puck. He has that sense of when and when not to make the play, he hangs on to it long enough and lets the play develop. Then takes advantage of it.”
Next up for the Jets is a set of three-straight games against Original Six opponents, as the Montreal Canadiens (Monday), Detroit Red Wings (Wednesday) and Boston Bruins (Friday) make their respective ways to Canada Life Centre over the next week. The first two games feature 6:30 PM central start times, while Friday's contest will be aired at 7:00 PM.