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Avs top Jets 3-2 on Matt Duchene's OT goal

By: PAT GRAHAM The Associated Press
March 10, 2014 Updated: March 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm
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DENVER - Matt Duchene scored 2:33 into overtime, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night.

John Mitchell and Andre Benoit also scored for the Avalanche, who have won five of six.

Dustin Byfuglien scored both goals for the Jets.

Duchene knocked in the winner on a scramble in front of the net. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom tried to punch the puck into the corner, but it hit Duchene in the shin and dropped down to his stick. From there, Duchene lifted it over backup goalie Al Montoya.

Duchene has a career-best eight-game point streak.

Late in the third period, Enstrom made a big save when he dove after a puck that was rolling toward into the net. He swatted it away just before it crossed the line.

Mitchell, Benoit and Duchene provided an offensive spark on a night the Avs lost another forward when P.A. Parenteau sustained a knee injury early in the game. They were already without Paul Stastny, who was sidelined because of a sore back.

Winnipeg had a 2-on-1 opportunity in overtime, but Varlamov deflected Olli Jokinen's shot into the netting behind the goal.

Varlamov earned his 32nd win of the season.

Colorado scored 4:38 into the second period on a goal originally credited to rookie Nathan MacKinnon, when it looked as though he tapped in a pass from Mitchell. But the goal was later awarded to Mitchell after the puck appeared to hit off the stick of Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian.

The lead didn't last long as Byfuglien scored twice in a span of 1:48. He tapped his first goal past Varlamov on a power play. Later, Byfuglien bounced a puck off Varlamov's left skate from near the boards behind the net.

Benoit tied it with 12 seconds remaining in the second on a slap shot from near the blue line.

It was a frenetic first period that featured no scoring but plenty of big hits and a penalty shot by Jim Slater after Marc-Andre Cliche hooked him from behind. Slater couldn't capitalize, though, lining his shot into Varlamov's glove.

Varlamov later turned back Evander Kane on another breakaway attempt. The Jets were flummoxed by Varlamov all period, even running into the Colorado goalie twice and drawing penalties.

The Avs were on the power play four times in the first period, but couldn't sneak anything past Montoya, who gave Ondrej Pavelec the night off.

Colorado lost Parenteau in a collision near the blue line with Mark Stuart less than four minutes into the game. After a quick rest, Parenteau momentarily returned to the ice to test out the knee before heading into the dressing room.

NOTES: Jets F John Albert left in the second period because of an injury and didn't return. ... F Bryan Little recorded two assists, giving him 52 points for the season, which is a career high.

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