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Preview and GDT: Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche

RELEASE THE BYFUGLIEN! Big Buff returns to action after missing 10 games due to injury.

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets
WINNIPEG, CANADA - FEBRUARY 8: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets plays the puck as Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche defends during third period action on February 8, 2015 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Jets defeated the Avs 5-3.
Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Time: 8:00 PM CST

Channel: TSN3, ALT

Radio: TSN1290

The first game for the Winnipeg Jets (23-11-6) on the 2018 portion of their schedule has the team playing in Denver against their Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche (19-16-3).

When these teams met for the first time this year, it was the Avs that came away with a 3-2 victory in overtime in front of their home fans, despite Winnipeg out-shooting them 33-26. Recently named NHL 1st Star of the Week Connor Hellebuyck was in net for the Jets in that contest, while Semyon Varlamov stood opposite him for Colorado. Both goalies will get the nod again tonight, with both teams looking to extend winning streaks.

Winnipeg are winners of their last three games, defeating the Oilers then the Islanders before beating Edmonton again on New Year’s Eve. Winnipeg continues to be without Mark Scheifele and Toby Enstrom for the next while, but Dustin Byfuglien returns to action tonight after missing 10 games. Despite the absence of their top-line centre, the Jets put up strong offensive numbers with captain Blake Wheeler centering the new look top line between youngsters Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

Connor Hellebuyck has regained his dominant early season form (if not better), and Adam Lowry has eight points in the last 10 games to lead all Jets (Kyle Connor has six in his last four).

In the last ten games, fifteen different Jets have scored.

Colorado have won two-in-a-row, and while they remain in the basement of the Central, the dominant play of Nathan MacKinnon and the third best penalty kill in the league can give them reason to smile as well.

This will be the second of four meetings between the two teams this season, with the final two taking place in Winnipeg. The Jets are 7-3-1 against Central Division opponents, while Colorado is 4-5-1. Colorado is 12-7-1 at home, while Winnipeg is 9-8-5 on the road.

Will Colorado out-Nordique the Jets?

Will Winnipeg continue to assert itself over Central Division teams?

Tune in this evening! Same Jets time (8:00 PM CST), Same Jets channel (TSN 3)!

Winnipeg Jets: 23-11-6

Stat Leaders:

Goals: Patrik Laine (18)

Assists: Blake Wheeler (34)

Points: Wheeler (45)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Connor Hellebuyck (21)

Goals Against Average: Hellebuyck (2.37)

Save Percentage: Hellebuyck (.923)

Minutes: Hellebuyck (1,850)

Special Teams: PP 24.1% (4th), PK 80.7% (19th)

Colorado Avalanche: 19-16-3

Stat Leaders:

Goals: Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog (16)

Assists: MacKinnon (30)

Points: MacKinnon (46)

Goalie Stat Leaders:

Wins: Semyon Varlamov (13)

Goals Against Average: Varlamov (2.94)

Save Percentage: Varlamov (.909)

Minutes: Rinne (1,471)

Special Teams: PP 19.9% (13th), PK 84.1% (3rd)

Winnipeg Jets


81 Kyle Connor/ 26 Blake Wheeler / 29 Patrik Laine

85 Mathieu Perreault/ 18 Bryan Little/ 27 Nikolaj Ehlers

9 Andrew Copp/ 17 Adam Lowry/ 40 Joel Armia

16 Shawn Matthias/ 15 Matt Hendricks/ 56 Marko Dano


44 Josh Morrissey/ 8 Jacob Trouba

7 Ben Chiarot/ 33 Dustin Byfuglien

5 Dmitry Kulikov/ 57 Tyler Myers


37 Connor Hellebuyck

Riding the pine: 35 Steve Mason

Scratched: 52 Jack Roslovic , 71 Julian Melchiori, 3 Tucker Poolman

Injured: 39 Toby Enstrom (lower body, ETA Late January) , 55 Mark Scheifele (upper body, 6-8 weeks), 13 Brandon Tanev (lower body, 1-2 weeks)

Colorado Avalanche


92 Gabriel Landeskog -- 29 Nathan MacKinnon -- 96 Mikko Rantanen

24 A.J. Greer -- 13 Alexander Kerfoot -- 64 Nail Yakupov

83 Matthew Nieto -- 34 Carl Soderberg -- 14 Blake Comeau

22 Colin Wilson -- 17 Tyson Jost -- 57 Gabriel Bourque


16 Nikita Zadorov -- 6 Erik Johnson

12 Patrik Nemeth -- 44 Mark Barberio

49 Samuel Girard -- 54 Anton Lindholm


1 Semyon Varlamov

Riding the pine: 45 Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: 94 Andrei Mironov

Injured: 10 Sven Andrighetto (leg, day-to-day), 37 J.T. Compher (upper body, ETA mid-January), 4 Tyson Barrie (broken hand, ETA early February), 91 Vladislav Kamenev (broken forearm, no timetable for return)