‘Smart’ Avalanche ground Jets, advance to Round 2

'Smart' Avalanche ground Jets, advance to Round 2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Mikko Rantanen scored his first two goals of the playoffs in the third period, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night that clinched their opening-round playoff series in five games.

Rantanen, who had an assist, scored twice in a span of just under four minutes early in the third period to snap a 3-3 tie.

Valeri Nichushkin, Yakov Trenin, Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson also scored for the Avalanche, who will play the winner of the series between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights.

“We definitely knew they were going to come out hard,” Trenin said of the Jets. “We knew they had nothing to save it for.”

Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews each had two assists, and Alexandar Georgiev made 33 saves for Colorado.

“Georgiev was outstanding all series,” Trenin said. “I’m really proud of him, the way he just came back and shut up all of the haters.”

Georgiev started all five games and bounced back from a Game 1 loss.

“We had great defense and I thought the first couple of periods were maybe a little too cautious,” Georgiev said of Game 5. “But, in the third, we knew they’d try to open it up, and we scored a big goal, and just kept playing smart.”

Kyle Connor, Josh Morrissey and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots.

For the Jets, it’s a second straight postseason exit in Round 1 after winning Game 1 of both series. In his postgame news conference, coach Rick Bowness was asked what his future was with the team.

“We just lost in the playoffs,” he said. “We’ll figure that out.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.