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Reply To: NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 3/12/16

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Preview: Colorado at Winnipeg

When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The three-game suspension handed down Thursday to Gabriel Landeskog comes at a bad time for the Colorado Avalanche, considering the team is in a tight battle with Minnesota for the final Western Conference playoff spot. But as the Avalanche travel to Winnipeg for Saturday’s meeting with the Jets, they have confidence the wins will continue – especially if goaltender Semyon Varlamov plays as he did in Wednesday’s 3-0 shutout of Anaheim.

Varlamov stopped all 37 shots he faced in ending the Ducks’ 14-game point streak, two days after recording 37 saves in a 3-1 victory over Arizona following a two-game stretch where he did not start. “I’ve played up and down,” Varlamov told reporters. “It was one of the best games for us this year, for sure.” The Jets are last in the Western Conference and continue free-falling, losing for the sixth time in the past seven games in Thursday’s 3-2 defeat at Detroit — blowing a 2-0 lead after one period. “We really struggled in that second period to move the puck, to move our feet,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice told the media afterward. “There was a whole list of things.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Altitude 2 (Denver), CITY (Winnipeg)

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (35-30-4): Colorado got a boost from an unexpected source Wednesday as forward Andreas Martinsen scored a goal after not playing in the Avalanche’s past seven contests. Landeskog has 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 65 games this season, but will sit after a cross-check on Anaheim’s Simon Despres. Colorado has been outstanding on special teams, killing off a season-high 22 consecutive power plays and 34-of-35 since Feb. 12.

ABOUT THE JETS (27-35-5): Center Mark Scheifele is one of the hottest players in the NHL, recording an assist Thursday to give him 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 11 contests. Marko Dano, acquired in the Feb. 25 trade that sent captain Andrew Ladd to Chicago, scored his first Winnipeg goal in Thursday’s loss after recording an assist Tuesday against Nashville. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson took the defeat Thursday and has surrendered 17 goals in his past five games.

OVERTIME

1. Winnipeg D Dustin Byfuglien played only 11 seconds in the final 24 minutes Thursday after suffering what Maurice described as an upper-body injury.

2. Colorado C Shawn Matthias has scored in back-to-back games, giving him three goals in seven outings since arriving in a Feb. 21 trade with Toronto.

3. The Avalanche have won three of the four matchups with the Jets this season and C Matt Duchene along with C Carl Soderberg each netted three goals as Colorado has outscored Winnipeg 13-9 overall.

PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Jets 1