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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 19th (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (44-20-5) at Winnipeg Jets (31-30-9), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche hope to avoid their first losing streak since the Olympic break as they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night.

The Avs are coming off just their third setback in the past 10 games, losing in head coach Patrick Roy's return to Montreal. Roy starred for the Canadiens franchise for 10-plus seasons before a trade to the Avalanche in 1995 and received a warm reception during the game.

The home cheers eventually went to Montreal's Thomas Vanek, who notched a hat trick to help hand Colorado a 6-3 loss.

Jamie McGinn had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who also got goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot. Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside 30-of-35 shots.

"I didn't want them to feel pressure of winning a hockey game for their coach. It's all about our team here," Roy said.

The Avs fell into a tie with the Chicago Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division, eight points back of the first-place St. Louis Blues. They'll try to avoid losing two straight for the first time since Feb. 4-6.

Reto Berra, the third goaltender on Colorado's roster, is expected to get the start tonight and it would be his first with the Avalanche since they acquired him from the Calgary Flames.

Berra, signed to a three-year extension by the Avs last Friday, was 9-17-2 with a 2.95 goals against average in 29 games (27 starts) with the Flames. That includes a 1-1-0 mark versus the Jets with a 4.32 GAA.

Winnipeg continues to lose ground in the Western Conference playoff race as it sits six points out of the second wild card position. The Jets snapped a six- game slide with a 7-2 win over Dallas on Sunday, but fell in defeat the following night 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues.

Eric O'Dell scored the Jets' lone goal and the clubs were tied until the Blues' David Backes scored a power-play goal with 6:51 to play. Winnipeg went down a man when Evander Kane went off for slashing.

"We just can't be in the box there," Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said of Kane's penalty, which occurred in the offensive zone. "That's the bottom line on that play."

Al Montoya allowed two goals on 25 shots for the Jets.

It is unknown when Ondrej Pavelec will be ready to return from a lower-body injury, so Montoya could get the start again tonight. He has good numbers versus the Avalanche, going 2-1-2 with a 2.14 GAA and one shutout.

The Avs have won three of four versus the Jets this season, including a 4-3 shootout decision on Dec. 12 in the lone encounter in Winnipeg.

03/19 10:46:20 ET

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2nd
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