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GAME DAY: Jets travel to Denver to face Avalanche

8:00pm CT - TV: TSN3 Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

Video: JetsTV Road Report

DENVER, Colorado -The Winnipeg Jets didn't have much time to celebrate Thursday's 4-1 win over Dallas.

As head coach Paul Maurice said earlier this week, it was time to "get on to the next mission." That mission is to turn last night's victory into two straight tonight, when the Jets (3-4-0) face the Avalanche in Colorado.

But despite the tight turnaround, Maurice didn't hesitate to lean heavily on the line of Shawn Matthias, Adam Lowry, and Joel Armia last night. Lowry won 18 of his 28 face offs, and his 21:24 of ice time was a season-high by almost three minutes.

"They were fantastic all night. I haven't seen a guy with four takeaways on the (stat) sheet in an awful long time. Joel Armia's stick was great. Adam Lowry's face offs, that has to be the most minutes he's played in the NHL, and he looked strong in doing it," said Maurice. "That line again for us, probably four games in a row, that they seem to have a great chemistry together."

Speaking of strong performances, Connor Hellebuyck turned away 38 of the 39 shots he faced last night, but given the hectic schedule full of travel coming up, Maurice says Michael Hutchinson (1-2-0, 3.71 GAA, .887 save percentage) will get the start on the back half of this back-to-back set.

"I'm not afraid of playing a guy back-to-back, but we've never seemed to have back-to-back jammed in with games every second night. This is a different environment that we're in," said Maurice. "We're going to keep both of them fresh. I really like Hutch's game."

Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice

The Jets arrived at the team hotel at 2:30 am CT, and did not hold a formal morning skate, the focus more on recovery following a home-and-home split with the Dallas Stars.

While the Jets may feel a bit of fatigue, the Avalanche (3-2-0) may have some rust to deal with. Colorado hasn't played since Saturday, a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

A rested opponent or not, captain Blake Wheeler says the Jets need to carry the work ethic from the two games against Dallas into Denver, regardless of the circumstances. After all, critical Central Division points are on the line.

To help get those points, the Jets would like to see the power play continue to perform. Winnipeg has lit the lamp with the man-advantage in three of the last four games, going 4-for-18 in that span.

Video: POSTGAME | Patrik Laine

"When I came here, they had the worst power play last year. I thought that I could bring something to the power play. Now I've got a couple goals on the power play," Patrik Laine said after adding two power play goals to the four he's scored on special teams this season.

"Those are important goals for these games. I'm just trying to help my team win."

Laine is doing just that, along with Kyle Connor, who picked up his first NHL goal in last night's win. Wheeler was happy to see that kind of response from Connor, who was scratched from Tuesday's game in Dallas.

"Our young guys are really good… They've been really good this entire time. Nice to see Kyle Connor miss last game, come in, I thought he played great," Wheeler said. "It's just building confidence for these guys. The faster these guys get their confidence up, the better team we're going to be."

Puck drop is 8 pm CT.

LATE HITS: The Jets recalled Marko Dano from the Manitoba Moose following last night's win. To make room on the roster, Bryan Little was put on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 13. Dano has two assists in six games with the Moose this season.

- Mitchell Clinton,


Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets make a quick trip to Denver tonight for the first of five games this season between Winnipeg and Colorado...The Jets split a home-and-home set with the Dallas Stars last night by defeating the Stars 4-1 at MTS Centre...Patrik Laine led Winnipeg cwith two goals last night, both of which came on the power play, while fellow rookie Kyle Connor scored his first career NHL goal...With the win, Winnipeg stopped a two-game losing skid...The Jets have a day off tomorrow before welcoming the Buffalo Sabres to MTS Centre Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. matinee.

Taking the Lead

Tyler Myers scored 15 seconds into last night's game and the Jets held the lead for rest of the game...In their previous six games to start the season, Winnipeg played with the lead for a combined 17:02...Last night's game also marked the first time this season the Jets took a lead into the third period.


The Jets play 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, with the second half of the first occurrence happening tonight against the Avalanche...Of the 28 games involved in the back-to-backs, 23 are on the road...This is the only time a back-to-back is split between home game and road game...Winnipeg plays three back-to-back sets in November, all of which are on the road...The Jets were 4-7-1 in the second game of a back-to-back set last season.

Getting Busy

Tonight's game finishes a three games in four days stretch for the Jets and continues a four games in six days stint...The busy end to October is a precursor for a November schedule that has the Jets playing 16 games in 29 days, 10 of which are on the road...Winnipeg is still in an opening set of games in which it plays seven of 10 games at home (3-2-0 at MTS Centre this year), but will follow that by playing 10 of 13 games on the road.

Team Quick Hits

- Winnipeg is 0-2-0 on the road to start the season.
- Tonight is the third and final one-game road trip for the Jets this season, but they do make one-off trips to Chicago on Dec. 27/16 as the first game after the Christmas break and Jan. 26/17 as the last game before the all-star break.
- Last night's win marked the first time this season Winnipeg limited their opposition to less than three goals.
- The Jets are 1-2-0 against Central Division rivals this season.
- Tonight is the first game outside the Central Time zone for the Jets this season...Including tonight, the Jets play their next nine road games outside the Central Time zone.

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