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Instant Reaction: Undisciplined 3rd period leads to a 6-2 loss for the Winnipeg Jets in game 3

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Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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Yikes. That’s all I have to say about what happened in the 3rd period of the Winnipeg Jets game tonight in game 3. The game looked promising once the Jets were up 2-1 after 2, but after that it was pretty much downhill from there once the 3rd period began. I don’t really have too much else to say about this game overall, it might just be too soon for that. I think it’s better if I jump right into the summary of what happened tonight in game 3. The Colorado Avalanche have taken a 2-1 series lead in this best of 7 series, with game 4 going again in Colorado on Sunday.
The 1st period was relatively quiet compared to some of the wild action you’ve seen in the first 2 games of this series. Both teams got their chances, but that defensive structure that the Jets have been wanting to play started coming out a bit in the 1st. Just over 11 minutes into the 1st, the Avalanche made a good passing play to enter the zone. A Josh Manson shot for turned aside by Connor Hellebuyck, but Zach Parise was there to collect the rebound and give the Avs a 1-0 lead.
After that goal, the Jets continued to push for the rest of the 1st period but were unable to find the scoresheet. Shots on goal after the 1st were 12-9 for the Avalanche and there wasn’t any penalties at all in the 1st. The 2nd period was when the real high-flying action began. Shots on goal were 16-10 for the Avalanche in the 2nd, but it was the Jets that were able to play the way they wanted to for most of the period.
5 minutes into the 2nd, you finally got to see a goal from the Jets 2nd line. After a chance from Dylan DeMelo, Tyler Toffoli picked up the puck and snuck it past Alexandar Georgiev from a very tough angle. It might have been a lucky goal you might say, but you could also say that the Jets deserved 1 with how they were playing up until that point in the 2nd.
 
The Jets weren’t done yet in the 2nd period, as they would strike again on their 1st powerplay of the game halfway into the period. After some good puck movement around the Avalanche end, Josh Morrissey blasted the puck past Georgiev to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
That goal got Jets fans hyped I would imagine, and even I felt more invested into this game once that one went in. The Jets took their 1st penalty of the game a few minutes after taking the lead, but were able to kill it off without too much of a problem.
Moving on to the 3rd period… and ya, this is where Jets fans have to be asking themselves what went wrong here. You probably already know they lost 6-2, so how did it go from 2-1 to 6-2 in the matter of 20 minutes with only 1 empty net goal? Penalties. That was the downfall for the Jets in the 3rd period.
Early in the 3rd, Mason Appleton took a bit of an accidental tripping penalty, and Nathan MacKinnon was able to snipe one past Hellebuyck’s five hole from the point because of some good screens in front.
MacKinnon’s goal made it 2-2, and at that point, I was thinking that the Jets were still going to do alright, and I wasn’t too worried. You might remember that I even wrote about one of the things that the Jets should consider doing in game 3 was not panic if the Avalanche start getting momentum.
Well, the Jets seemed to not take the tying goal all too well, as not even a minute later Gabriel Vilardi took a bad double minor high sticking penalty. The Avalanche took advantage of one of their best strengths, puck movement, and Valeri Nichushkin gave the Avalanche a 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately, it got worse for the Jets after the Avalanche’s go-ahead goal. The momentum just seemed to shift almost all in favour of the Avalanche at that point. I just had that gut feeling when I was watching that it was just not the Jets game anymore. Around 4 minutes later, Arturri Lehkonen added to the Avalanche lead off a rush, giving the Avalanche a 4-2 lead.
The frustration began to show from the Jets, as after the Avalanche made it 4-2 this game got chippy real quick. The Jets took a few silly penalties too, another unnecessary tripping penalty followed by a puck over glass penalty which gave the Avalanche a brief 5 on 3. Just as the penalties expired, Ross Colton gave the Avalanche a 5-2 lead, all but wrapping up any chance the Jets may have had at that point. It was another example of, you guessed it, elite puck movement from the Avalanche leading to a goal.
Like I said before, once the Avalanche took the lead in this game, it was almost lights out for the Jets. A combination of undisciplined play by the Jets, and the Avalanche getting the extra push from their home fans led the play to go the way the Avalanche wanted it to go.
The Jets gave it one last push near the end of the game when they got their 2nd powerplay of the game. Despite being down by 3, the Jets wanted to take their chances at seeing if they could get a little closer, but were unsuccessful in doing so. Devon Toews shot the puck into the empty net shorthanded and the Avalanche took a 6-2 lead with 4 minutes to go.
The rest of the game got physical. Things were getting really chippy, and the Jets weren’t going out without trying to build some sort of team motivation for the next game. The rough stuff led to a few more penalties at the end of the game. The final scrum of the game led to a scary moment, where Brenden Dillon appeared to have been badly cut in the hand by what could only have been a skate. Coach Rick Bowness said Dillon was still getting evaluated post-game, so we’ll have to wait for an update on his condition tomorrow morning.
After that final scrum, it was game over for the Jets, and they now trail the series to the Avalanche 2-1. Safe to say that the game might have started the way the Jets wanted it to, but that 3rd period was the main reason why they lost this one. Shots on goal were 40-24 for the Avalanche, as the Jets failed again to help prevent scoring chances, not doing Hellebuyck any favours.
The Jets finished 1 for 2 on powerplay, while to the Avalanche went 2 for 6 on their powerplays. There were a combined 38 minutes of penalties when it was all said and done. The 1st star of the game may have been Casey Mittelstadt, as the Avalanche forward put up 3 assists in the win.
So where do the Jets go from here? Well, they won’t have as much time as they did between game 2 and game 3 to make adjustments before game 4. Jets and Avalanche will get the “early” game on the schedule for game 4 on Sunday with puck drop set for 1:30 PM CT.
There will be lots to discuss for Jets fans before game 4 begins, and it’ll be interesting to see what their approach will be now for what will be a very important game 4 on Sunday.

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