DENVER (AP) - Matt Duchene was simply going for a cross-ice pass. A fortunate bounce turned it into the winning goal.
The Colorado forward didn’t know it until the roar of the crowd clued him in.
“We’re all pretty exhausted,” Duchene said. “I felt like I was back in high school playing hockey, but those games are fun to win.”
Duchene got free after a nifty move in the corner and saw Ryan O’Reilly on the far side. Duchene tried to thread a pass to him, only to have it hit the stick of Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom and bounce in the air. The puck hit Duchene in the leg, dropped down to his stick. From there he lifted it over backup goalie Al Montoya.
“I didn’t even know it went in,” said Duchene, who has a point in a career-high eight straight games. “I just heard the crowd cheering, and I figured it went past him. It was a good bounce, nice to get that one.”
Montoya was almost as surprised.
“I don’t even remember it. I really don’t, sorry about that,” he said. “I know the puck bounced in front of me, was poked in front of me, and it landed right on the guy’s tape.”
Enstrom made quite a save to make sure the game reached overtime. Late in the third period, Enstrom dove after a puck that was rolling toward the net. He swatted it away just before it crossed the line.
Jets coach Paul Maurice didn’t fault Enstrom’s attempted clear.
“Just a little bad luck in front of the net,” Maurice said. “Bobbled the puck and it’s in the back.”
John Mitchell, Andre Benoit and Duchene provided an offensive spark on a night the Avs lost another forward when P.A. Parenteau hurt his right knee early in the game. They were already without Paul Stastny, who was sidelined because of a sore back.
Avs coach Patrick Roy said Parenteau could miss significant time with an MCL injury.
“I think he’s going to miss the remainder of the regular season, and we’ll see for the playoffs,” Roy said. “(Tuesday), we’ll know more. I’m just guessing right now.”
Winnipeg had a 2-on-1 opportunity in overtime, but Varlamov deflected Olli Jokinen’s shot into the netting behind the goal.