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GAME DAY: Jets vs Avalanche

7:00 pm CT - TV: TSN 3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - With points in each of their last nine games at home - going 8-0-1 in that span - the Winnipeg Jets have their sights set on extending that streak tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.

In order to do that, they'll have to match the desperation level of an Avalanche team that is 0-5-3 in their last eight games and sit four points back of Minnesota for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Having played the Avalanche twice this season already, the Jets know the kind of game tonight's opponent is capable of.

"There are world class players there, they've got lots of frustration," said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. "All this is going to take is one period, one game, they catch fire. Then the pressure comes off them, the pressure they're dealing with, and now you have a problem because this is a real good team."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

The most recent meeting between the two teams was also inside Bell MTS Place back on Jan. 8, a 7-4 Jets win.

Tyler Myers had two assists in that game - and also has assists in back-to-back games coming into tonight.

He said the key in matching Colorado's level tonight lies in the team's preparation.

"There are moments when you're in the position we're in that the challenge is bringing that level every single night. This group has done a great job of doing that," said Myers. 

"It's like any other game this time of year. We know they're going to come in hard. They're going through a tough stretch right now, so they're going to be a desperate hockey team. We have to make sure we're up to our level and playing with a little bit of consistency."

Video: PREGAME | Tyler Myers

The Jets (36-18-3) will go with the same line-up that produced Tuesday night's 4-3 regulation win over the New York Rangers, including Connor Hellebuyck starting in goal: 

Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler

Laine-Little-Roslovic

Perreault-Lowry-Tanev

Lemieux-Copp-Appleton

Morrissey-Trouba

Chiarot-Byfuglien

Morrow-Myers

While the Avalanche have been searching for success as of late, earlier parts of this season have proven they're capable of going on a run.

They've had a five-game win streak, two four-game streaks, and two separate five-game streaks where they went 4-0-1.

"We don't want to be that team that gets them going," said Maurice. "We want to make sure we're right. We have lots of things that we're working on in our game that are really important that we get right. We're expecting their best."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Scheifele

Despite the slide in the standings, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog still remain one of the most offensively dynamic lines in the NHL.

In the last meeting, the trio combined for five points with Landeskog scoring twice. Rantanen and MacKinnon are fifth and sixth in the NHL scoring race with 75 and 74 points respectively.

"We know they're a team that can make you pay when you give them the chance," said Mark Scheifele, who has six points against the Avalanche this season. "We have to be on our 'A' game all night and be prepared for a tough one."

Video: PREGAME | Brandon Tanev

To their credit, Scheifele and linemate Blake Wheeler are right behind their Avalanche counterparts, holding down the ninth and 10th spots in the points race.

Scheifele said the success those two have had comes down to simplicity.

"You're able to play fast when you're playing simple. You know what's coming and you know where guys are when you're playing consistent for each other," said Scheifele, adding that playing simple is what the Jets do when they're at their best.

"When we play a simple game we're a tough team to play against. That has to be our focus tonight especially."

Puck drop from Bell MTS Place is set for 7 pm CT.

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

GAME NOTES

Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets continue a three-game homestand tonight when they host the Colorado Avalanche at Bell MTS Place...The Jets erased a 3-2 third-period deficit to beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Tuesday night in the first game of the homestand...Winnipeg wraps up the homestand on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

Back Home

Winnipeg has the second-best home record in the NHL this season at 21-6-3...The Jets have a point in their past nine games at home (8-0-1) and 13 of their last 15 contests at Bell MTS Place (12-2-1)...The Jets have the best power play at home in the NHL this season at 34.1%, but have gone back-to-back home games without a power play goal (0-for-7)...Winnipeg's 31 power play goals at home this season is second in the NHL...The Jets have a 53-13-5 record at Bell MTS Place during the past two seasons, making it the toughest building in the NHL for opposing teams to play...The Jets have scored 118 goals at home this season, which is second in the NHL, and have outscored their opposition 102-52 in their 21 wins.

Against the Central

The Jets are 10-7-0 against Central Division teams this season...Since the start of the 2016-17 season, the Jets are 44-24-4 against Central Division teams, which is first in the NHL...In that same time frame, Blake Wheeler leads all NHLers in scoring against the Central Division with 92 points (27G, 65A) in 72 games, while Mark Scheifele is second with 85 points (34G, 51A) in 64 games.

Busy Time

The Jets are in a stretch of 11 games (5-3-1) in 20 days since the all-star break...Winnipeg went 6-3-0 in nine games in 16 days leading into the break...The Jets are in the midst of playing their last 34 games of the regular season in 69 days.

Defensive Offence

Jets defencemen have accumulated 137 points season, which is fourth in the NHL...Jets defencemen have factored into 17 of the 22 goals the Jets have scored in February...Joe Morrow scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday against the Rangers and added an assist for his second multi-point game this season...Josh Morrissey has established career highs for assists (25) and points (31) and needs two more goals to establish a career high for goals as well...Jacob Trouba has a career-high 27 assists this season and needed three points to surpass his career high of 33 points from the 2016-17 season.

Goal Leader

Mark Scheifele scored twice in the first period against the Rangers on Tuesday to become the first member of the Jets to reach 30 goals this season...It's the second time in his career that he's reached 30 goals in a season, as he had 32 goals during the 2016-17 season...Scheifele is tied for 10th in the NHL in goals...Tuesday was his sixth multi-goal game of the season and second time he scored twice in a period (Nov. 27 vs. PIT - second period).

In Pursuit

After netting four points (2G, 2A) in his first 25 games, Andrew Copp has 12 points (4G, 8A) in his past 19 games since Dec. 31/18...He has a point in five of his past seven games and has scored in back-to-back games, including the game-winning goal on Tuesday...He's tallied eight (4G, 4A) of his 16 points this season in third periods.

VIEW THE GAME NOTES

Dominating the Dot

The Jets won 63% (33-of-52) of the faceoffs against the Rangers on Tuesday...Mark Schiefele (12-for-20) and Adam Lowry (12-for-19) each won 12 faceoffs...It's the fifth time this season two Jets centremen won 12 or more faceoffs in a game.

Rounding Into Form

Since the all-star break, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 5-1-1 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .920 save percentage...He has a plus-.900 save percentage in four consecutive starts...He hasn't lost back-to-back starts since Dec. 27-29/18...After posting a .907 save percentage in October and .900 in November, Hellebuyck has posted save percentages of .916, .917, and .922 in December, January, and February, respectively.

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