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Gazette Premium Content Wheeler scores in OT and Jets beat Avalanche

The Associated Press Updated: March 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Blake Wheeler scored in overtime on a shot through the crowd to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

It was the fourth time in five games this season between the Jets and Avalanche that went to overtime.

Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Nick Holden and Cody Mcleod scored for Colorado, which is trying earn the second spot in the Central Division.

Andrew Ladd scored twice for the injury-depleted Jets. Eric Tangradi and Evander Kane also scored.

Ladd's second came on a power play at 4:58 in the third period when he was poised near the inside edge of the faceoff circle and caught Wheeler's pass from the boards to make it 4-3.

Mcleod scored his third goal of the season on Al Montoya to tie it up again at 10:23.

Wheeler ended it at 1:42 of overtime with a shot from near the boards that slashed through traffic.

O'Reilly's first goal came just 20 seconds into the game on a sharp-angled shot that slipped past Montoya but the Jets responded with serious pressure.

They had four shots to Colorado's two as Ladd evened things up at 3:15 with his 20th of the season, racing in on Reto Berra's stick side. It was Berra's first start since he was acquired by Colorado from the Calgary Flames at the trade deadline.

It didn't help Winnipeg's chances that defenseman Zach Bogosian joined the lengthy scratch list, which already included Dustin Byfuglien and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who are listed as day to day. The Jets are chasing a wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Avalanche forward Paul Stastny was out after playing in Montreal on Tuesday following a four-game absence due to injury. They also lost forward John Mitchell in Montreal.

Tangradi put the Jets ahead with his first goal since November and only second of the season as Wheeler swept around the Colorado net, slipped the puck across the crease and Berra didn't even have time to react before it was over the line.

Colorado came back with several good chances but it wasn't until 17:47 that Landeskog shoveled in Andre Benoit's rebound to tie the game going into the second period.

The second period was all Jets. They had outshot the tired-looking Avalanche 8-1. Kane scored at 12:02 as he snapped one from the net side of the left faceoff circle.

But some weak defensive play in their own end in the final minutes finally cost the Jets as Holden flipped a soft one in at 19:29, although Winnipeg outshot Colorado 11-5 in the second period.

Notes: Despite the disparity in their NHL rankings, the Jets and Avalanche went into Wednesday's game with two wins each in their season series, although Colorado had the only win in regulation time. Even the regulation win was decided by one goal.

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