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Jets begin two-game road trip tonight in Denver

by Mitchell Clinton (@MClinton007) / Winnipeg Jets

DENVER, Colorado -- After playing nine of their last 10 games at home, the Winnipeg Jets now face a stretch in February that sees them play eight of ten away from MTS Centre.

The first of those eight games comes tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, a team the Jets have yet to beat this season. So not only will the Jets be looking to change that, but they’ll also be trying to erase last night’s 5-3 loss to Carolina from their minds.

The Hurricanes scored four goals in the opening period, before Alexander Burmistrov, Andrew Ladd, and Blake Wheeler pulled Winnipeg to within one.

“We got going,” Ladd said following the loss. “We got our legs going, we got moving. It’s pretty simple. There’s no special formula. We should understand by now, what needs to happen right from the drop of the puck for us to be successful and that’s moving and being on the puck.”

Ladd’s goal was his 12th of the season, as well as his 300th point with the Jets’ franchise.

In the attempt to even the score, the Jets fired 19 shots at Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward in the third period, a new season high for the club. But it wasn’t enough, as a late goal from Andrej Nestrasil sealed the two points for Carolina.

But that game is in the past, and tonight’s match up with Colorado will be the eleventh time the Jets play back-to-back games this season. A win tonight would be Winnipeg’s fourth in the back half of those situations. As a result of arriving in Colorado just before 2 a.m. central time, the Jets didn’t hold a formal morning skate.

As for the Avalanche, they come in winners of five of their last eight games (5-2-1), and hold the top wildcard spot in the Western Conference. The Avalanche are 11 points ahead of the Jets in the standings, but Winnipeg has three games in hand.

Puck drop from the Pepsi Center is 9 pm CT.

HUTCH CALLED INTO ACTION

Michael Hutchinson saw his first action since Jan. 3 last night after Connor Hellebuyck was pulled by head coach Paul Maurice early in the first period.

Hutchinson stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced in relief of Hellebuyck, and said it took most of the first period for him to adjust to game action again.

“The first period I felt I was still getting my legs back and getting rid of the tunnel vision you get when you don’t play for a while,” said Hutchinson. “Everything seems to be happening a lot quicker. But in the second period everything started to slow down and I felt better with my game.”

GUEST TRIP

For the third straight season, the Winnipeg Jets will have some special guests on the road this trip. Each player had the option to bring a male guest along for the trip for a behind-the-scenes look at life in the National Hockey League.

In previous years, guests have travelled with the team to Anaheim, San Jose, Colorado, and Dallas.

-- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

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