The Colorado Avalanche’s early-season good vibrations have been offset with losses in six of their last nine contests, in addition to the suspension of Gabriel Landeskog. The Avalanche aim to persevere as the captain serves the first of a four-game ban on Wednesday when the Winnipeg Jets pay a visit to the Rocky Mountains.
Colorado has been dominant at home this season, but fell for just the second time in regulation - the first happened in Sweden when it was deemed the home team - with a 3-2 setback to Calgary on Saturday. Nathan MacKinnon set up Mikko Rantanen’s power-play goal in the second period versus the Flames, giving the former top overall pick 13 assists and 17 points at home. The high-flying Jets brought their offense home from a four-game road trip and posted their seventh win in nine outings with a resounding 7-2 rout of Minnesota on Monday. Each member of the top line scored a goal and set up two others, with Kyle Connor collecting seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last six games while Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler increased their total to 20 points in the past 15.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE JETS (15-6-3): Connor Hellbuyck has yielded two or fewer goals in six of his last seven outings, posting a 5-2-0 mark in that stretch and improving his season record to 13-2-2. The 24-year-old permitted just one goal in each outing last season against the Avalanche, turning aside 49 of 51 shots in the process. Patrik Laine, who collected five points (two goals, three assists) versus Colorado last season, recorded 11 points in as many games before being held off the scoresheet in each of the last two outings.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (11-9-2): Rantanen has scored six of his seven goals and 11 of his 20 points with the man advantage this season. The 2015 first-round selection had - surprise, surprise - a power-play goal in Colorado’s 3-2 overtime win over Winnipeg on Nov. 11, 2016, and added an assist with the man advantage in a 4-1 setback to the Jets on Dec. 18. With Landeskog suspended after cross-checking Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, Sven Andrighetto likely will elevate to the top line to join MacKinnon and Rantanen.
1. Colorado G Semyon Varlamov likely will make his return from a four-game absence due to illness versus Winnipeg, against which he split a pair of decisions despite turning aside 36 of 39 shots.
2. Jets RW Joel Armia has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past eight games.
3. The Avalanche are 11-for-39 on the power play at home this season.
PREDICTION: Jets 4, Avalanche 2