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Avalanche try to keep rolling against Jets

by John Kreiser /

JETS (5-5-2) at AVALANCHE (9-1-0)


Last 10: Winnipeg 3-5-2

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche meet for the first of five times this season, and for the first time as members of the Central Division. They haven't played since Winnipeg won 5-1 at home on Feb. 19, 2012, to complete a sweep of the two-game season series when the Jets were part of the Eastern Conference.

Big story: The Avalanche are the surprise of the new season, with nine victories in their first 10 games including a 4-2 home win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. They've outscored their opponents 32-14 and have won three in a row. The Jets come to Denver after a 2-1 shootout win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Jets: Andrew Ladd scored the only goal of the shootout but goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was the hero of the win in Dallas. Pavelec stopped 35 shots through 65 minutes and was perfect on three attempts in the tiebreaker. Ironically, the victory made him the winningest goaltender in franchise history with 95 -- one more than the guy he beat, Kari Lehtonen.

"Our goalie was fantastic," coach Claude Noel said. "We gave him some opportunities there, even at the end, that were point blank and he had to come up big. He made some really key saves. It's getting to the point where we're starting to expect that from Pavelec, and he's coming through big-time for us."

Avalanche: The win against Carolina gave the Avalanche nine victories in their first 10 games for second time in franchise history and the first since moving to Denver in 1995. It's quite a turnaround for a team that finished last in the Western Conference and 29th in the overall standings in 2012-13.

"It's special," center Matt Duchene said after the win. "I've said before, going from where we've been last year and the year before and the year before that, it feels great right now. But you can't be satisfied. We know how fast it can turn. We've been there before with a nice start and then slowed down in the stretch. So we have to keep going the way we are."

Who's hot: Evander Kane had the Jets' lone goal prior to the shootout on Saturday and has scored three times in Winnipeg's past five games. … Duchene had a pair of goals on Friday, giving him five goals and seven points in Colorado's past five games.

Injury report: Winnipeg will be without rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba (neck) until mid-November. Forwards Jim Slater (undisclosed) and Chris Thorburn are listed as day-to-day. … Colorado reports no injuries but is without forward Cody McLeod, who's sitting out a suspension.

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