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Avalanche hoping to 'take care of business' at home

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will try to end a three-game losing streak Sunday when they open a seven-game homestand against the Winnipeg Jets at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche have gone 0-1-2 in their past three games, which included a 7-2 loss Friday to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

"It's one of the key moments in our season," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said of the homestand. "We've been looking at the schedule and we knew that we had this stretch coming up. We're in a good position in the standings and now we need to be red-hot at home."

The Avalanche won their two previous games against the Jets this season, 3-2 on Oct. 27 at Pepsi Center and 4-3 in a Dec. 12 shootout in Winnipeg. They are 12-5-1 at home.

"If we take care of business like we can at home and use the altitude to our advantage, we can really build a great foundation going forward for this year," Avalanche center Matt Duchene said. "It can be a huge turning point for us. We want to be one of those teams that goes north after Christmas, not south. We've done that in the past. You can make the playoffs or lose the playoffs in January, believe it or not. It's a huge homestand for us and we have to dominate at home."

The Jets' flight from Winnipeg on Saturday was delayed and the team didn't arrive until 1 a.m. Sunday, so coach Claude Noel chose to let his players sleep in rather than have a morning skate.

The Jets, who are coming off a 6-4 win Friday against the Minnesota Wild, haven't won consecutive games since Nov. 25-27 against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

Defensemen Zach Bogosian (illness) and Mark Stuart (groin injury) are expected to play against the Avalanche after sitting out the game Friday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Evander Kane -- Mark Scheifele -- Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn -- Olli Jokinen -- Devin Setoguchi

Eric Tangradi -- James Wright -- Anthony Peluso

Adam Pardy -- Tobias Enstrom

Dustin Byfuglien -- Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart -- Jacob Trouba

Al Montoya

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Keaton Ellerby, Eric O'Dell, Julian Melchiori

Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (forearm), Paul Postma (blood clot), Jim Slater (sports hernia)


Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- Nathan MacKinnon

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- PA Parenteau

Jamie McGinn -- John Mitchell -- Maxime Talbot

Cody McLeod -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Erik Johnson -- Jan Hejda

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Ryan Wilson -- Tyson Barrie

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratched: Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, Brad Malone

Injured: Alex Tanguay (knee, hip)

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