The Colorado Avalanche had a brief (but successful) one game road trip against the Minnesota Wild, sending the Wild to their season-long seventh loss in a row. Meanwhile, things are looking up in Colorado as the Avalanche are riding a five game winning streak that has pushed them back into the playoff picture.
Colorado currently sits at 39 points, tied for 9th place with the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. With a victory over Winnipeg at Pepsi Center on Tuesday evening, the Avalanche will leapfrog those idle teams and would be in playoff position by the end of the night. A win would also match their season-long six game winning streak (set the first two weeks of the season) and would extend their franchise best home winning streak to nine games.
The Winnipeg Jets are also in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference, and are giving their fans something to cheer during their first season back in Manitoba. The Jets are 12-5-1 in the safe confines of Winnipeg, but a less than stellar 4-9-4 in away games. Like Colorado, they have a high flying member of the 2009 draft class leading the way offensively. Evander Kane was selected immediately after Avalanche forward Matt Duchene and has 15 goals and 26 points on the season -- he leads the Jets in both offensive categories. Winnipeg will be shorthanded in Tuesday's game, as young center Bryan Little will be unavailable due to a foot injury.
In net, the Jets will send goalie Ondrej Pavelec. The young Czech goalie has been okay this season (2.91 GAA, .909 SV%) but nowhere near the Vezina caliber level that he displayed the first half of last season. Colorado will respond with veteran goalie (and NHL Third Star of the Week) Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The former Conn Smythe winner is on a hot streak, with a .945 SV% in his last five games. Giguere has won the last four home games he has started and will get the nod in net on the second half of a back to back.
This will be the first meeting of these two teams since the Jets were reintroduced, and the only time that Winnipeg will visit Colorado this season. The Avalanche will play the Jets on their home ice on February 19, 2012.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Jets blog Arctic Ice Hockey.