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Avalanche after more offense as they visit Jets

by Jon Lane

AVALANCHE (20-9-0) vs. JETS (14-14-4)


Last 10: Colorado 6-4-0; Winnipeg 4-4-2

Season series: The Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets play the second of five games. Colorado's 3-2 win against Winnipeg on Oct. 27 bumped its record to 10-1-0 for the second time in franchise history.

Big story: Colorado travels to Winnipeg winless in three of its past four games and 8-8-0 since a 12-1-0 start. The Avalanche have scored 15 goals in their past eight games and are in eighth place in the Western Conference.

"We need to get more rebounds at the net," coach Patrick Roy said Wednesday after practice. "The more we go in the season, the fewer scoring chances we're going to have. Teams are going to play tighter. When you get fewer scoring chances, you have to make the most of the scoring chances you have, and the quality of shots are very important."

Playing their first season in the West, the Jets are 3-10-2 against the Central Division one point ahead of the last-place Nashville Predators by a point. Off what coach Claude Noel said was a slower, tactical game against the St. Louis Blues, he wants his team to increase the tempo against the Avalanche.

"They have skill and speed, and we're going to have to play better as well," Noel said.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado's scoring drought continued Tuesday when Phoenix Coyotes goalie Thomas Greiss stopped 29 shots in a 3-1 loss. The Avalanche had opportunities to take the early lead but Greiss denied Paul Stastny and Maxime Talbot close in and defenseman Andre Benoit on a breakaway.

''We aren't scoring enough goals,'' Stastny said. ''Our guys have to do more to put goals on the board. Plain and simple.''

Jets: Despite outshooting the Blues 8-2 in the first period Tuesday, Winnipeg could not sustain the momentum in an eventual 2-1 loss at MTS Centre. Kevin Shattenkirk's power-play goal late in the third period appeared to have deflected off Jets forward Bryan Little.

"So far this year after losing a game like that we seem to bounce back and play pretty well the next game, so I kind of expect that again," Little said Wednesday. "To lose a game like [Tuesday] in the last few minutes, it was a tough one and guys were pretty upset about it. But guys are moving on. That's part of the maturing process, putting a loss like that behind us and worrying about the next one."

Who's hot: Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog has points in four of his past six games (two goals, four assists). … Little, the Jets' leading scorer with 13 goals and 28 points, has points in three of his past five games (one goal, two assists). Forward Olli Jokinen has three goals and two assists in his past five games.

Injury report: Avalanche center Alex Tanguay (knee/hip) had a setback Tuesday and will not return this weekend as was originally expected. Defensemen Ryan Wilson (back) and Jan Hejda (knee) are expected to return Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. … Jets forward Evander Kane (lower body) didn't skate Wednesday and is likely unavailable for the rest of the homestand, reports the Winnipeg Sun. Defenseman Paul Postma (blood clot) has been skating lightly and will be re-evaluated in the middle of January. Forward Jim Slater (sports hernia) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (strained groin) are on injured reserve.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNHL

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