Streaking Jets host Avalanche in division clash

The Winnipeg Jets look to continue their hot streak through the Central Division when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

The Jets are on a two-game winning streak and are 4-0-1 this month. Their most recent victory was a 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday, with Mark Scheifele scoring the deciding goal just 21 seconds into the extra frame.

That game was just the third time Winnipeg has faced a division rival this season. That scheduling quirk means that 23 of the Jets' remaining 64 contests will come against Central Division foes. The Jets are a perfect 3-0-0 in division play so far, though center Andrew Copp knows they have a big challenge ahead.

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"It's going to be tight (in the division) again this year. It's tight every year so we know how important these games are," said Copp, who scored the game-tying goal against the Stars. "We're going to see a lot of these teams coming up ... so we've got to make sure we're winning these games and getting ahead of these teams as much as we can."

Recent history between Winnipeg and Colorado has favored the Avalanche, who have won the past three meetings between the two clubs. The Avalanche's 4-1 road victory last Feb. 14 snapped Colorado's seven-game losing streak in Winnipeg.

The Avalanche also will be looking for their third straight win. After going 0-4-1 in a five-game stretch between Oct. 26 and Nov. 5, Colorado rebounded for victories over the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring a combined 13 goals.

Defenseman Cale Makar tallied three goals and two assists over those two games, continuing the 21-year-old's outstanding rookie season. After making an impressive debut during Colorado's playoff run last spring, Makar has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) over his first 17 regular-season games.

Colorado could continue to rely on another new face, as Pavel Francouz might be in line for his third consecutive start in net. Regular starter Philipp Grubauer has missed the Avalanche's past two games with a lower-body injury, creating the opportunity for Francouz to receive more playing time.

The change has worked out to the tune of two wins for Francouz, who looked impressive in stopping 39 of 41 shots against Columbus on Saturday.

"It's always easier for the goalie if you have more shots," Francouz said. "I kind of felt like I didn't think as much. I was just flowing with the game and having fun."

Aside from Grubauer, forward Colin Wilson is also day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's status for Tuesday is also questionable; he left Saturday's game after taking an elbow to the head from Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno.

Connor Hellebuyck is expected to be the Jets' starting goalie on Tuesday. Since allowing five goals on 19 shots to the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 29, Hellebuyck has surrendered just six goals total over his past four games, good for a .959 save percentage.

Sunday's victory marked the fifth time this season that Jets have won after trailing through the first two periods, the most of any team in the NHL.

--Field Level Media

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