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Kyle Connor’s two-goal game propels Jets past Avs

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Kyle Connor scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Thursday in Denver.Josh Morrissey collected a goal and an assist and Adam Lo

Kyle Connor scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Thursday in Denver.

Josh Morrissey collected a goal and an assist and Adam Lowry also scored for Winnipeg. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Nikolaj Ehlers, Dylan Samberg and Nino Niederreiter also registered helpers.

Nathan MacKinnon led the Avalanche with a goal and an assist. Joel Kiviranta also scored, while Devon Toews, Sam Malinski and Bowen Byram picked up one assist apiece. Alexandar Georgiev made 24 stops for Colorado.

Both teams held their defensive structure well to start the game, and it seemed as if the first period would end without the game’s opening goal, but Winnipeg got on the board first.

Jonsson-Fjallby caused a turnover on the forecheck and found Lowry in the slot. The Jets captain wired the puck home with only three seconds remaining in the initial frame, making it 1-0.

The Jets struck again 32 seconds into the second period. Connor scored his 16th of the season, converting a spinning shot following a pass that Ehlers dug off the boards.

The Avalanche responded two minutes later. MacKinnon pulled Colorado within one after creating open ice for himself, making a few moves and putting the puck top shelf off the backhand.

The Jets regained their two-goal lead with 4:47 left in the middle stanza. Morrissey blasted the puck into the cage off a net-front screen, getting Winnipeg ahead 3-1.

The Avalanche again cut the deficit to one. A tally by Kiviranta was ruled to have crossed the goal line with 31 seconds left in the middle period after a look back during a stoppage in play.

Colorado headed into the second intermission down 3-2 but could not find the equalizer in the third period.

Connor scored his second of the game into an empty net with 37 seconds left to seal the victory for Winnipeg.