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Avalanche G Georgiev bounces back, credits teammates for support


Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev bounced back from an ugly Game 1 Tuesday, turning aside 28 of 30 shots faced in a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2.

Georgiev was burned for seven goals on 23 shots as the Avalanche suffered a 7-6 loss in Game 1, with head coach Jared Bednar publicly calling on his goaltender to play better. The 28-year-old netminder credited his teammates for helping him find his form in short order.

“They showed so much support to me over the last couple of days. A very rough first game, obviously,” Georgiev said after Game 2. “I just felt so much trust in the room from everybody and I appreciate it so much. It helped me reset, to know that they have got my back.

"I know I’ll help them out as well during this playoff. It was huge from them. I appreciate it.”

Georgiev posted a 38-18-5 record to lead the NHL wins in the regular season with a .897 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average. He made all seven starts for Colorado in the playoffs last season, posting .914 save percentage as the team was eliminated in Game 7 of the first round by the Seattle Kraken. His save percentage for the series jumped to .830 after Tuesday's win after posting a .696 mark in Game 1.

“[Georgiev’s game] probably needed to be better, right?” Bednar said after that loss. “I thought we played well; we created some chances. He made some good saves, but we’re [going to] need like a couple more saves than that probably to win, you know?

"But it is what it is. We’ll regroup. We made some mistakes in front of him that we’ll have to clean up and try to get the job done. It’s a team game.”

With the series knotted at 1-1, the two teams now head to Denver, where the Avalanche had an NHL-high 31 wins on home ice this season. 

“It’s a playoff series. We’re good at home, they’re good at home,” Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano said. “We get a 1-1 split in a tough building, so I think we take the positives from that and now we go home to a place we’re pretty comfortable playing.”

The Avalanche lost nine games in regulation at home this season, with the Jets providing two of them.