Thursday night’s game might not mean anything to the Winnipeg Jets, but it means a lot to the Colorado Avalanche.
After the Dallas Stars won again on Wednesday night, the Avalanche dropped down to second in the Central Division…for now. If they win both of their remaining games, they will win the Division. It’ll be difficult to find any excuses if they lose on Thursday.
The Jets will be sitting a lot of their best players on Thursday against the Avalanche, as they have nothing to play for. They are locked into that final wild card spot and can’t move, so they’re not looking to risk any injury. David Rittich will start in net for them.
For the Avalanche, they will get a big boost up front, as Artturi Lehkonen, who is the third leading goal scorer on the team, will return from his broken finger. It was an optional morning skate for the team, so there was no indication on where he would play in the lineup, but don’t be surprised if he’s right back on the top line with Nathan MacKinnon.
Alexandar Georgiev was the first goaltender off the ice, indicating he will likely start for Colorado. Expect Pavel Francouz to play the regular season finale on Friday.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Artturi Lehkonen – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Evan Rodrigues – J.T. Compher – Valeri Nichushkin
Matt Nieto – Andrew Cogliano – Logan O’Connor
Alex Newhook – Lars Eller – Denis Malgin
Devon Toews – Samuel Girard
Jack Johnson – Bowen Byram
Brad Hunt – Erik Johnson
Expected Winnipeg Jets Lines, per DailyFaceoff.com
Connor – Namestnikov – Niederreiter
Barron – Lowry – Appleton
Kuhlman – Stenlund – Maenalanen
Toninato – Gustafsson – Jonsson-Fjallby
Dillon – Demelo
Samberg – Pionk
Stanley – Capobianco
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 24.8%, 6th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79%, 17th in NHL
Winnipeg Jets Power Play: 19.5%, 22nd in NHL
Winnipeg Jets Penalty Kill: 82.6%, 4th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: ESPN+, Altitude
Radio: Altitude Sports Radio 92.5
Game Time: 6:00 PM MST