Colorado Avalanche web staff contributed to this story.
JETS (17-18-5) at AVALANCHE (23-11-3)
TV: Altitude; RDS2; TSN Jets
Last 10: Winnipeg 4-5-1, Colorado 3-4-3
Season series: The Avalanche has won the first two of the five-game Central Division set this season, and both were come-from-behind victories. Colorado rallied from a 2-1 deficit Oct. 27 with two goals in the third period of a 3-2 win in Denver and then came back from 2-0 Dec. 12 and defeated the Jets 4-3 in a shootout in Winnipeg.
Big story: While the Jets have dealt with inconsistency all season, the Avalanche is looking for to regain the form it had during a torrid start. The Jets scored five on the Florida Panthers last Friday, lost 2-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, gave up six goals to to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, then beat the Minnesota Wild 6-4 in their first game after the NHL's holiday break. The Avalanche has lost three in a row (0-1-2), including a 7-2 setback Friday night to Chicago.
Jets: Winnipeg and Minnesota definitely looked like a couple of teams fresh off a three-day break. Five pucks found the back of the net in the first seven minutes of play, three of them going past Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec. That prompted Jets coach Claude Noel to make a change, bringing in netminder Al Montoya to help stabilize the situation.
"I think our team needed a jolt," Noel said. "You certainly couldn't continue to play that way and end up not knowing how this game would be."
Montoya did the job, stopping 22 of 23 shots. Blake Wheeler and Tobias Enstrom put the Jets ahead 4-3 before the first intermission, and Wheeler put the Jets ahead to stay midway through the third after Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu tied the game 4-4.
Avalanche: Coach Patrick Roy took some extra time at Saturday's practice going over video from his team's loss to the Blackhawks. He used the opportunity to teach, which he became expert at in his eight years with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior League.
"I thought it was good for us to do some video before practice, touching on some details in our game," Roy said. "Like I said to the guys, you're looking at the first period, it's 0-0, there's less than eight minutes left in the period, we're not in bad shape. We make a bad line change -- boom! -- the puck is in the net … 1-0.
"There's 2:30 left in the period, it's a 1-0 game. We're right there with them, and we turn the puck over at the blue line, miss some D-zone coverage and then 2-0. [A little] later, too many men on the ice. We're beating ourselves, and I think if we correct those details, we're going to be even tougher to play against. That's the objective, it's to make us a tough team. Even if we're not playing our best game, we don't have to take ourselves out of the game."
Who's hot: Jets scoring leader Bryan Little has points in his past two games, while Wheeler and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien have points in three of their past four. Evander Kane has three goals in his past four games. … Matt Duchene, Colorado's top scorer, had 10 points during a five-game point streak that was stopped Friday night. Gabriel Landeskog has goals in back-to-back games, and Ryan O'Reilly has five points in his past four. PA Parenteau and Paul Stastny have points in back-to-back games.
Injury report: Jets defensemen Zach Bogosian (flu) and Mark Stuart (lower body) did not play Friday and remain questionable for Sunday. Defenseman Grant Clitsome (lower body) is on injured reserve, along with forward Matt Halischuk (fractured forearm). … Defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) returned to Colorado's lineup Friday, following a 22-game absence. Forward Alex Tanguay (knee/hip) remains on injured reserve.
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