DENVER (AP) Shawn Matthias scored in the second period against his former team, Michael Hutchinson stopped 37 shots for his third career NHL shutout and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 on Friday night.
The Jets were more energetic despite playing their third game in four days, including a 4-1 win over Dallas the night before. Colorado looked a bit rusty after a week off and couldn’t to solve Hutchinson. It was Hutchinson’s first shutout since Jan. 15, 2015, against Columbus.
The Avalanche pulled Semyon Varlamov with around 1:22 remaining, but couldn’t capitalize.
Varlamov stopped 20 shots, his only mistake not sliding over in time to stop Matthias’ wrist shot.
Colorado, which had a 20-4 advantage on shots in the third, went on the power play late in the period and had a golden chance with Hutchinson down on the ice. But Rene Bourque’s shot from out front appeared to hit forward Brandon Tanev and sail wide of the net.
Hutchinson also came up big midway through the third period by stopping Joe Colborne, who coasted in all alone and tried to thread the puck between Hutchinson’s legs.
Colorado’s alternate blue sweater hasn’t exactly been lucky. The team is 5-9-1 since the jersey’s debut last season.
Jarome Iginla remains in a goal-scoring funk. He had a point-blank shot moments into the third period and was thwarted by Hutchinson. Iginla has just one goal so far this season. He’s 16th on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list.
Matthias gave the Jets 1-0 lead at 8:29 of the second period when he guided in a perfect cross-ice pass from Joel Armia. Matthias played for the Avalanche last season after being acquired in a February deal with Toronto. He had six goals in 20 games for Colorado.
The Jets nearly had a power-play goal midway through the first period when Mark Scheifele poked in a shot between the pads of Varlamov. But the officials blew the whistle just before the puck rolled into the net.
Scheifele pleaded to no avail.
Patrik Laine, the No. 2 overall pick in June who already has six goals, unleashed a few quality shots only to be turned back by Varlamov. Laine is good friends with Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, who was making his season debut after being called up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
They pair helped Team Finland to the 2016 world junior hockey championship. They also practiced together this summer.
“It will be fun,” Rantanen said of the friendly rival.
Rantanen was the 10th overall pick in 2015. His locker once belonged to Avalanche standout Milan Hejduk.
“Maybe Mikko will take the great energy that was in that stall,” captain Gabriel Landeskog cracked.
NOTES: Jets D Dustin Byfuglien recorded the 800th penalty minute of his career with a tripping call in the second period. He also was called for another penalty in the closing seconds. … F Drew Stafford missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury. … D Fedor Tyutin (groin) sat out a second straight game. … F John Mitchell (hip) made his season debut.
Jets: Host Buffalo on Sunday.
Avalanche: At Arizona on Saturday in their second back-to-back set this season.