The Colorado Avalanche continue their road trip as they cross the border to begin the first leg of a back-to-back set against their division rivals the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night at Canadian Life Center.
The Avs enter the contest coming off a home-and-home set against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Colorado successfully completed the season sweep against the Penguins, winning in Pittsburgh by a score of 6-4. Devon Toews led the team with three assists.
Five Avalanche players notched two points, including Nathan MacKinnon (2G), JT Compher (1G, 1A), Darren Helm (1G, 1A), Andre Burakovsky (2A) and Mikko Rantanen (2A).
With the win over Pittsburgh, Colorado has now won four-straight games and is riding a six-game point streak (5-0-1).
The second half of the Avs’ back-to-back set will be played in Edmonton against the Oilers. Then, Colorado’s schedule will feature a few days rest before another back-to-back, this time on home ice.
Avalanche at Jets
Canada Life Center | Winnipeg.
Avalanche veteran blueliner Erik Johnson and Jets ‘captain Blake Wheeler played together at the University of Minnesota in 2006-07… JT Compher and Winnipeg center Andrew Copp were teammates in 2013-14 at the University of Michigan… Jets’ forward Mark Scheifele and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck played with Nathan MacKinnon representing Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Colorado holds a 25-19-5 record when playing the Jets. On the road, the Avs are 9-12-3 all-time when facing Winnipeg.
Forward Valeri Nichushkin did not play against Pittsburgh, but could return to the lineup against Winnipeg.
Among the Avs’ forwards, captain Gabriel Landeskog remains sidelined for weeks after knee surgery. Nazem Kadri is still out, but “coming along, feeling better,” according to Head Coach Jared Bednar. Colorado’s blueline is still without Samuel Girard – as he continues to rehab an injury, but is getting closer to action – and Ryan Murraywho is still sidelined on a week-to-week basis.
SCOUTING THE JETS
The Jets, who currently own a 33-28-10 record and a sixth seed in the Central Division, have lost their last three games. Prior to that, the team had won three-straight games. This matchup against Colorado ends their three-game homestand.
Winnipeg ranks17th in the league in power play percentage (21%) and 27th in the league in penalty kill (75.1%).
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Mark Scheifele
Centerman Mark Scheifele ranks second among the Jets in total points this season with 66 (27 goals, 39 assists) through 65 games. He also currently maintains a three-game point streak, where he has totaled four points (1G, 3A) in that stretch.
The Avs have reached the 50-win mark for the third time in franchise history and were the first team in the NHL this season to do so. They are the third fastest to 50 wins in the last 25 seasons.
Colorado clinched its postseason berth with the latest win over Pittsburgh. This is the Avalanche’s fifth-straight appearance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in the league.
400 and 400
Mikko Rantanen has played 400 games and has produced 400 career points (164G, 236A) in that span.
Erik Johnson has played 850 games in his NHL career. Of those games, 647 have been played with Colorado where the 34-year-old defenseman has posted 66 goals and 168 assists in that span.