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Avs Begin Road Trip at Jets

Colorado takes on Winnipeg in the first matchup of the season between the clubs

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

In the first of five meetings between the teams this season, the Colorado Avalanche (7-5-3) faces division-rival Winnipeg Jets (8-5-1) on Friday in the first stop of a two-game road trip.

The game marks the 42nd time the two teams have met in the franchises' history. Colorado holds a 19-16-6 all-time mark against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise, which includes a 12-9-3 record since the 2013-14 season.

After Friday's matchup, the Avs will head to Edmonton to play the Oilers on Sunday before returning to Denver to begin a two-game homestand.

Last Time Out

The Avs fell 4-1 at Pepsi Center in a clash against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. Matt Calvert scored his first goal as a member of the Avalanche in the second period. It was a power-play goal and came sandwiched between three markers from Nashville center Colton Sissons. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 30-of-33 saves as the Predators outshot Colorado 34-25.

The Jets fell 4-2 against the Florida Panthers in the second and final outing the two teams played at the NHL Global Series in Helsinki, Finland, on Nov. 2. Wingers Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine scored for Winnipeg in the first period, but the Jets were unable to answer the Panthers' ensuing three goals in the last two periods. Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves on 26 shots, and the Jets outshot Florida 34-26.

Last Time They Met

Although Colorado outshot Winnipeg 31-28, the Avs fell 6-1 to the Jets at Bell MTS place on Feb. 16 in the teams' last contest against one another. Blake Wheeler tallied twice for Winnipeg, while four other Jets players added single markers on the scoresheet. Mikko Rantanen sent a puck past Connor Hellebuyck in the third frame, closing out scoring for the night. Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier split time in net.

What to Watch

Power on the Road

The Avalanche has capitalized on 9-of-33 man-advantage opportunities (27.3 percent) while on the road this season. The team stands tied for sixth in the league in the category and ranks second in the Western Conference.

Central Focus

The matchup is the second game in a row that the Avs will play against a division rival after playing the Predators on Wednesday. Colorado went 13-10-4 during the 2017-18 regular season against teams in the Central Division. With 17 points in 15 games, the Avalanche is currently tied for third place in the division with the Jets

Players to Watch

Colorado Left Wing Marko Dano

After getting picked up from Winnipeg off the waiver wire on Oct. 15, Dano will face his former team for the first time on Friday. Over 82 games with the Jets, the forward notched 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists). He has skated in six games so far with the Avs.

Winnipeg Right Wing Blake Wheeler

Wheeler extended his point streak to eight games on Nov. 2 (one goal, 11 assists), registering an assist on both goals his teammates scored that night. The helpers brought his season total to a team-high 14 assists and 16 points (two goals, 14 assists). Ten of those 14 helpers have come while Winnipeg has been on the power play.

Lineup Notes

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start in net for Colorado. Injured forward Tyson Jost continues to make progress from a head injury and has been a full participant in the team's practices the last three days. Head coach Jared Bednar said Jost could be an option to play at the Jets.

Prior to the team's departure to Winnipeg on Thursday, the Avalanche recalled forward A.J. Greer from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League.

The Details

Friday's matchup between the Avalanche and the Jets is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live on Altitude 2 or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now app (in market). The game has also been chosen as a NHL.tv free game for out-of-market viewers. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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