After outscoring its opponents 13-6 in a two-game homestand, the Colorado Avalanche hits the road for five-straight games, starting in Winnipeg to take on the Jets on Tuesday.
The Avalanche saw 13 different players notch a point in the two-game homestand, including 12 in Thursday's 9-4 win against the Nashville Predators. Cale Makar led the team during the homestay with five points (three goals, two assists), while Ryan Graves and Nathan MacKinnon each chipped in with a goal and three assists. Pavel Francouz backstopped both games, saving 20-of-24 shots on goal against Nashville and 39-of-41 against Columbus, including all 23 of the Blue Jackets' shots in the final two periods.
The Jets (10-7-1) are coming off a 3-2 win in overtime against the Dallas Stars on Sunday as Mark Scheifele scored 21 seconds into the extra frame to give Winnipeg its second straight victory.
Tuesday's contest is the first of four meetings between the Central Division rivals this season. The clubs will play again at Bell MTS Place on March 27 and will also meet in Denver on Dec. 31 and April 2.
Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets
Bell MTS Place | Winnipeg, Manitoba
Gabriel Bourque spent the last three seasons with Colorado… Erik Johnson and Jets' captain Blake Wheeler were teammates at the University of Minnesota in 2006-07… J.T. Compher and Winnipeg center Andrew Copp were teammates at the University of Michigan in 2013-14… Jets' forward Mark Scheifele and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck played with Nathan MacKinnon for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey… Colin Wilson grew up in Winnipeg… Matt Calvert is from Brandon and played for the WHL's Wheat Kings.
The Avalanche is 22-18-6 all-time against the Jets franchise and 15-13-3 since the team moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011. Colorado took three of the five matchups against its division rival last year, including winning the last three games by a combined scored of 14-4. The last contest, on April 4, saw the Avalanche come back from 2-0 to win 3-2 as Erik Johnson scored the decisive goal in overtime.
Tyson Jost had a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in the Avs 7-1 win on Feb. 20, 2019, finishing with five points total in the five-game season series (two goals, three assists). Gabriel Landeskog also notched five points against the Jets last year (four goals, one assist), as did Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, four assists). The Avalanche is 5-5-0 in its last 10 games against Winnipeg.
Pavel Francouz is expected in net for his third straight start as Philipp Grubauer recovers from a lower-body injury… The Avalanche recalled forward Logan O'Connor and defenseman Kevin Connauton from the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles on Monday afternoon.
Philipp Grubauer (lower body), Nikita Zadorov (jaw) and Mikko Rantanen (lower body) all skated on Monday … Zadorov participated in practice while Grubauer took part in certain drills and Rantanen skated on his own… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is in concussion protocol but he and Grubauer will join the team in Winnipeg … Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) and Colin Wilson (lower body) both are still recovering from their injuries.
SCOUTING THE JETS
Winnipeg enters the contest on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) and tied for third place in the Central Division. While the Jets are killing penalties with a 73-percent success rate (28th best) and converting on the power play 17.2-percent of the time (21st best), they've allowed just one power-play goal in their last six games while converting on two of their last six chances with the man-advantage.
Mark Scheifele, who has 25 career points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 24 games against the Avs, leads the Jets with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) and he has a goal in three of their last four games. Patrick Laine has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 16 outings this season.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Blake Wheeler
Blake Wheeler has 10 points so far this year (five goals, five assists), following his second straight 91-point season in 2018-19. He's currently on a two-game assist streak.
Last season he notched 10 points in five games against the Avalanche (two goals, eight assists). Wheeler has 48 career points (17 goals, 31 assists) in 34 games against Colorado, the most for any NHL player against the Avs since he began his career in 2008.
The Avalanche has scored first in nine games this season and has not lost in regulation in those outings, boasting a 7-0-2 record in such contests.
The Avalanche has outscored its opponent in the final two periods 39-25, a plus-14 margin.
Cale Makar recorded five points combined in the Avalanche's last two games (three goals, two assists), bringing him to 17 on the season (four goals, 13 assists), which leads all rookies.
With six points in his last three games (three goals, three assists), Cale Makar was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Monday… This five-game road trip is tied for the Avalanche's second-longest all year (the next is in February), following its six-game journey in October… This will be the first of four meetings with the Jets this year.