In the last regular-season outing at home this year, the Colorado Avalanche (37-29-14) faces the Winnipeg Jets (46-30-4) at Pepsi Center on Thursday. The Avalanche will also be hosting Fan Appreciation Night and its annual Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony postgame.
Through four matchups between the two squads this season, Colorado is 2-2-0 against Winnipeg. The Avs have a 21-18-6 all-time record against the Jets franchise, which includes a 13-6-3 mark at home.
Following the contest, the Avalanche wraps up its regular season at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Last Time Out
Colorado came back from a two-goal deficit and notched six unanswered tallies in a 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Pepsi Center on Tuesday. Alexander Kerfoot (two goals), Tyson Barrie (one goal, two assists) and Gabriel Landeskog (two assists) all recorded multi-point performances as 13 different Avs players marked the scoresheet in the outing. In addition to Kerfoot and Barrie, Nathan MacKinnon recorded his 40th goal of the season and Colin Wilson and Sven Andrighetto also found the back of the net. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots in net.
The Jets fell 5-1 to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. Jacob Trouba notched a short-handed goal to extend his career-high point total to 48 this season (seven goals, 41 assists). Blake Wheeler registered an assist on Trouba's marker to bring his season total to 70 helpers, a franchise record. The team outshot Minnesota 33-28 while netminder Eric Comrie made his season debut for the Jets, stopping 23-of-28 shots.
Last Time They Met
Twelve members of the Avalanche marked the scoresheet as Colorado beat Winnipeg 7-1 at Pepsi Center on Feb. 20. Carl Soderberg (one goal, two assists), Tyson Jost (one goal, two assists), Landeskog (one goal, one assist), Andrighetto (two assists) and Matt Nieto (two assists) all registered multi-point nights as MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Matt Calvert and A.J. Greer also lit the lamp in the victory. It was Greer's first-career NHL goal. Colorado outshot the Jets 46-27, as Varlamov turned aside 26-of-27 shots.
What To Watch
Every Clinch Counts
Following Tuesday's win, the Avalanche (88 points) needs only one more point to clinch a spot in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team currently stands eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind the Dallas Stars (91 points), who occupy the first wild-card slot. Colorado is four points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes (84 points), and both teams will play two more contests against conference foes to finish the 2018-19 campaign.
The Avalanche is 11-9-5 against teams from the Central Division this season, including a 7-2-2 mark in its past 11 division matchups. Colorado stands tied for second in the NHL with 18 power-play goals against teams from the Central, and the club's 70 total tallies against its division rivals shares the fourth overall spot in the league. With 126 shots, MacKinnon leads the NHL in shots against Central Division squads.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Center Nathan MacKinnon
After finding the back of the net on Tuesday, Mackinnon has recorded 400 career points (154 goals, 246 assists), becoming the first member of the 2013 NHL Draft class to reach that mark. In addition, the forward joined Milan Hejduk (twice) and Joe Sakic (three times) as the only Avs players to record 40 tallies in a single season (since 1995-96). MacKinnon is on a five-game point steak (three goals, three assists) and ranks tied for sixth in the NHL with 97 points (40 goals, 57 assists), matching his career high set last year.
Winnipeg: Right Wing Blake Wheeler
Wheeler continues to lead the Jets with 90 points (20 goals, 70 assists) after picking up an assist in Tuesday's matchup. The forward is one point away from tying his career high (91 points; 2017-18) and ranks third in the NHL for assists. Wheeler also shares third place in the league after accumulating 30 points (five tallies and 25 helpers) against Central Division clubs this season. The forward paces Winnipeg in career scoring against the Avalanche with 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists) in 33 outings.
Thursday's contest between the Avalanche and Jets is slated for 7:00 p.m. MT. The game can be watched locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the AltitudeNOW app (in market) or as an NHL.tv free game (out of market only). The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.
As the outing marks the final home game of the regular season, the club is hosting Fan Appreciation Night at Pepsi Center. Among the festivities include random giveaways to fans and the always-popular Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony--sweaters given directly to fans from each member of the Avalanche following the game. A limited amount of tickets are still available.