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Division Rivalry: Winnipeg Jets

Colorado has been strong at home in the all-time series

by Zach Shapiro / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets are still writing the early history of their matchups, but the first 47 meetings--including 28 as division foes--have laid the groundwork for a lasting rivalry.  

Historically Speaking

The Avs are 23-18-6 all-time against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise, which includes a 16-11-3 mark since the Jets moved to Winnipeg in 2011.

The Jets switched to the Western Conference for the 2013-14 season and was placed in the re-aligned Central Division with the Avalanche. The teams have alternated win streaks in their history--the Avs have won the last four after Winnipeg won the four before that--and a contentious six years as division rivals culminated in a late meeting last year with the Avs' playoff hopes on the line.

What Happened Next

Hanging onto the final seed on April 4, Colorado (37-29-14) needed a point in one of its final two games to clinch a postseason berth. Winnipeg was already in the playoffs, but it was determined to eliminate a dangerous contender. The Jets raced out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period, but the Avs kept chipping away at the deficit. 

Tyson Barrie cut Winnipeg's advantage in half in the second period, and then Carl Soderberg scored to tie the game in the third. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer saved all 16 shots in the last two frames of regulation to help force the contest into overtime and give the Avalanche a point to clinch a postseason berth. Nearly two minutes into OT, Erik Johnson scored off a pass from Nathan MacKinnon to lift the Avs into the playoffs on a thrilling victory 

As of Late

Colorado took the first meeting this season, winning 4-0 in Winnipeg on Nov. 12. Goaltender Adam Werner, who entered the game 31 seconds in after Pavel Francouz got injured, saved all 40 shots he faced in relief while making his NHL debut. Nathan MacKinnon turned in a four-point outing (two goals, two assists) and Joonas Donskoi added another three points (one goal, two assists).

Colorado finished last season series with 3-2-0 record and are 11-3-1 in 15 all-time games at Pepsi Center against the Jets (since moving to Winnipeg). The Avalanche has won its last six home games versus the division foe.

Season Series

Nov. 12 @ Winnipeg (W, 4-0)
Dec. 31 @ Colorado
March 27 @ Winnipeg 
April 2 @ Colorado

Current Avs

Nathan MacKinnon has 20 career points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 27 outings against the Jets, including 13 (five goals, eight assists) in his last eight contests. Gabriel Landeskog also has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 29 meetings with Winnipeg, while Mikko Rantanen has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 13 career games against the Jets. Erik Johnson has scored two of his six career overtime goals against Winnipeg (three of the OT winners have come as a member of the Avs).

Past Avs

Matt Duchene has the most points of any Avalanche player against the Jets with 21 (10 goals, 11 assists) in 22 games. Carl Soderberg recorded 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 19 meetings with Winnipeg, while Tyson Barrie also notched 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 27 outings. Semyon Varlamov has played the most games in net for any NHL goalie against the Jets with 23. He played 22 as a member of the Avs, posting a 10-8-2 record with a .913 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average.

The Jets

Entering this season, Blake Wheeler had more points than any NHL player against the Avalanche since his first season in 2008, tallying 48 (17 goals, 31 assists). Wheeler has 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists) against Colorado as a member of the Jets, and he has three games with at least four points against the Avs since 2011, also the most of any NHL player. Mark Scheifele has 25 career points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 25 games against the Avalanche, tied for the second-most he's recorded against any single opponent. Dustin Byfuglien has 21 career points (four goals, 17 assists) in 26 career games against Colorado. 

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