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GAMEDAY: Jets at Avalanche

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

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / WinnipegJets.com

DENVER, CO - After morning skate, Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice confirmed that Perreault would be back in the lineup to face the Colorado Avalanche after missing six games. Perreault was blindsided by Flyers forward Joel Farabee on December 15th and the Jets went 1-4-1 without him.

"Matty goes back in, feels right," said Maurice after morning skate.

"He feels, feels like he's been ready for a couple of days so he's back in."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Perrault will be reunited with Adam Lowry - Gabriel Bourque will skate on the other wing. His energy and steady play in both ends will be needed against the Avalanche who have beaten the Jets six straight meetings at Pepsi Center. Perreault says he will have to manage his excitement after watching from the press box for an extended period.

"Yeah, for sure. We'll see how it feels especially here in Colorado," said Perreault.

"It's never easy here. It's tough to breathe with the altitude, so maybe not the best place to come back after you missed a period of time. But maybe the first period will be an adjustment and we will go from there."

Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault

Maurice added that Logan Shaw will come out of the lineup, so Nick Shore will centre the fourth line with Mason Appleton and Jansen Harkins. Connor Hellebuyck will start in goal, a day after he and Mark Scheifele were named Central Division All-Stars. Nikolaj Ehlers and Tucker Poolman didn't skate this morning but will play tonight.

After a couple of real heavy, physical games against the Blues the Jets were fortunate for a practice day between Sunday's 4-1 loss in St. Louis and tonight's meeting with Colorado. Lots of players got the chance to rest and relax ahead of a crucial battle with the speedy Avs.

"When you play a game that's not played in the neutral zone, it's played in both ends of the rink. That's a lot of banging, a lot of grinding, a lot of puck battles," said Maurice.

"So having a bit of rest, you know we almost optioned yesterday out. We had a big chunk still go (both goaltenders, eight forwards and three defenceman) and then 16 skaters today. So they're feeling good."

The Jets lost 4-0 in the only meeting between the two clubs back in November and the much maligned penalty kill will be in the spotlight again this evening after giving up at least one power play goal in seven of their last eight games.

"We had a stretch of six or seven weeks or so where our PK was one of the best in the league and then you get a few goals that are scored on you," said Luca Sbisa.

"Your confidence starts to slip; you know you kind of try to do too much and you just don't have that confidence. We just talked about it; you know that guys that kill. We've showed that we can do it."

Video: PREGAME | Luca Sbisa

It will be another milestone night for Jets captain Blake Wheeler as he will be playing in his 900th career game in the NHL. Wheeler leads the Jets in career scoring against Colorado with 48 points (17G, 31A) in 35 games. He also has a team high four game-winning goals against the Avalanche and is a plus-15.

GAME NOTES

The Winnipeg Jets finish a two-game road trip today in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche...The Jets dropped a pair of games to the St. Louis Blues coming out of the Christmas break, including a 4-1 loss in St. Louis on Sunday in the first game of the trip...Following today's game, the Jets return home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday before embarking on a four-game road trip.

Last Game
Dec. 29 at STL - 4-1 L
Jets Scorer:
Shore (3)
Blues Scorers: O'Reilly (8), Schwartz (12, 13), Thomas (5)

Jets Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (24 sv, 3 ga)
Blues Goaltender: Jordan Binnington (25 sv, 1 ga)

Jets PP: 0-for-3
Jets PK: 1-for-2

Recap: The Jets dropped the back half of a home-and-home set with the St. Louis Blues by losing 4-1 on Sunday afternoon...It is Winnipeg's first loss in seven afternoon games this season...Nick Shore scored his first goal in a Jets uniform for Winnipeg's lone tally...Patrik Laine led the Jets with six shots, while Adam Lowry had a team high seven hits.

Three Stars: 1. Pietrangelo 2. Binnington 3. Bortuzzo

Western Rivals
The Jets are 6-4-2 against divisional opponents this season...The Jets are 14-8-2 against the Western Conference this season...The Jets are in the midst of playing five of six games against Western Conference teams...Kyle Connor leads the Jets in scoring against the Western Conference with 25 points (11G, 14A) in 24 games.

Road Stint
Winnipeg is 11-7-1 on the road this season, which is seventh in the NHL...The Jets are in the midst of playing six of seven games on the road...Winnipeg hasn't lost consecutive games in regulation on the road this season, but are 1-3-1 in their past five games away from Bell MTS Place and have been held to two goals or less in each of the four losses...Patrik Laine leads the Jets in scoring on the road this season with 21 points (6G, 15A) in 17 games.

New Year's Eve
The Jets are 4-3-0 in New Year's Eve games since relocation in 2011...The Jets have won the past two years on New Year's Eve, which have both been wins in Edmonton against the Oilers.

READ THE FULL GAME NOTES

Turning the Calendar
The Jets have won 40 games in a calendar year for the third consecutive year and fourth time in the past five years...Winnipeg has also reached 90 points in a calendar year for the third consecutive year and fifth time since relocation.

2019 on Point
Mark Scheifele leads the Jets in scoring during the 2019 calendar year with 75 points (33G, 42A) in 82 games...He also has a team-leading 11 power play goals...Kyle Connor leads the Jets in goals in 2019 with 38 in 82 games...Blake Wheeler leads the Jets with 21 power play assists in 2019.

Hits Leader
Adam Lowry leads the Jets with 107 hits this season and is the only member of the Jets to surpass to the 100 hit mark so far...His seven hits on Sunday marked the third time this season he's had seven or more hits in a game...Lowry is on pace for 231 hits this season, which would best the career high 223 hits he had last season.

Shooters
Kyle Connor continues to be one of the most frequent shooters in the NHL this season with 134 shots, which is 14th in the NHL...He's averaging 3.44 shots per game and has multiple shots in eight consecutive games...Connor has a shot in all 39 games he's played this season, including a career high nine shots on Oct. 29 at ANA...Patrik Laine also has a shot in every game this season and has 20 shots in his past four games...Winnipeg's top line of Mark Scheifele, Connor and Laine have accounted for 44.6% (121-of-271) of the Jets shots by forwards in December.

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