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Preview: Jets at Avalanche

Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba could make season debut; goalie Semyon Varlamov to play for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

JETS (7-7-1) at AVALANCHE (5-7-0)

9 p.m. ET; ALT, TSN3, NHL.TV

Jets team scope

Defenseman Jacob Trouba could make his season debut four days after signing a two-year, $6 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets. He missed their first 13 games before signing Monday and was scratched Thursday after taking part in the morning skate. "It's going to be a tough call," coach Paul Maurice told the team website. "For some of them, when the player that has to come out, we want it to be the right time. I would say you're more open to putting a player in on back-to-back, fresh legs, that kind of idea. We'll look at the minutes. The guys that play the big minutes are staying in anyway. It's not like you're going to get a huge boost because a guy comes in." The Jets didn't have a morning skate following their 3-2 road win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. They've won two games in a row and are 3-1-1 in the past five. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 23 saves against the Coyotes and has started four games in a row, but Michael Hutchinson could play Friday. He made 37 saves in a 1-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 28. Winnipeg's top line of left wing Nikolaj Ehlers, center Mark Scheifele and right wing Patrik Laine has combined for 11 goals and 15 assists in the past four games. Scheifele leads the NHL with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists). Laine leads the League with 11 goals. "It's going to be a tough matchup every time they're on the ice," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "They're going to see a lot of [Matt] Duchene, [Mikko] Rantanen and [Nathan] MacKinnon tonight. Top guns against top guns. Our guys are going to have to do a job."

Avalanche team scope

Colorado will start goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has allowed 20 goals during a five-game losing streak. He was replaced by Calvin Pickard on Sunday after surrendering five goals on 25 shots in a 5-1 road loss to the St. Louis Blues. Varlamov had 20 saves Oct. 28 in the 1-0 loss to the Jets. "Both guys, if I look for the battle for the net, we've played better games in front of (Pickard) than we have for (Varlamov)," Bednar said. "[Varlamov] has played real good first periods, and now we need him to sustain his game through the course of 60 minutes or 65 minutes plus." Rene Bourque will replace Jarome Iginla at right wing on a line with left wing Gabriel Landeskog and center Carl Soderberg. Bourque scored a power-play goal Tuesday in Colorado's 4-2 loss to Arizona. "[Bourque] is a physical guy, he's bringing a physical presence to our forward group, which we need a little bit more of," Bednar said. "He probably had one of our best all-around games the other night, so I want to give him a chance to earn some more minutes." Said Bourque: "We all have size and a little bit of grit, so the strength of our game is down low. Take pucks to the net, crash the net, typical ugly hockey." Iginla, who has one goal in the past 10 games, will skate with left wing Joe Colborne and center Mikhail Grigorenko.

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Patrik Laine

Kyle Connor -- Nic Petan -- Blake Wheeler

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Brandon Tanev

Marko Dano -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom -- Tyler Myers

Ben Chiarot -- Paul Postma

Michael Hutchinson

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Jacob Trouba

Injured: Joel Armia (lower body), Bryan Little (lower body) Shawn Matthias (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (upper body), Drew Stafford (upper body), Mark Stuart (lower body)

Avalanche projected lineup

Mikko Rantanen -- Matt Duchene -- Nathan MacKinnon

Gabriel Landeskog -- Carl Soderberg -- Rene Bourque

Joe Colborne -- Mikhail Grigorenko-- Jarome Iginla

Andreas Martinsen -- John Mitchell -- Cody McLeod

Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Johnson

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin -- Patrick Wiercioch

Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Eric Gelinas

Injured: Blake Comeau (groin)

Status report

If Trouba plays, Chiarot or Postma will be scratched. ... Comeau will miss his third consecutive game.

Who's hot

Scheifele has four goals and six assists during a four-game point streak. Laine has five goals and three assists in a four-game streak. Ehlers has two goals and six assists in a four-game streak ... Duchene has one goal and two assists in a three-game point streak; he has six goals and five assists in his past nine games.

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