Big game in the Western Conference playoff race on Thursday night as Winnipeg visits division rival Colorado. The Jets are in the playoffs but battling for the Central Division title. The Avalanche are in a dogfight for the last wild-card spot but slight NHL betting favorites here. They could clinch a spot.
Jets vs Avalanche NHL Spread & Expert Pick
- When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Pepsi Center
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Spread: Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (Total 6)
Teams have split four meetings. They last played Feb. 20 in Denver and the Jets suffered one of their worst losses of the year, 7-1. It was actually scoreless after one period and only 2-0 Avalanche after two. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Calvert scored 11 seconds apart in the third period, and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves. Carl Soderberg, Mikko Rantanen, Tyson Jost, Gabriel Landeskog, and A.J. Greer also scored to lead Colorado. The only score Varlamov allowed was to Kyle Connor in the third period with Colorado staked to a 4-0 lead. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 39 shots for Winnipeg.
Why Bet on Winnipeg?
As of this writing, the Jets and Nashville Predators are tied for the Central Division lead with 96 points and two games to go for each. Winnipeg comes off a 5-1 loss in Minnesota and closes the season Saturday in Arizona.
Against the Wild, Zach Parise scored twice and Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves to lead Minnesota. The Jets have lost four of five and that stretch led to a players-only meeting after Tuesday’s game. “You want to get a team on the same page, you want to get every guy pulling on the rope in the same direction,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. “Sometimes the best therapy for that is having a conversation about it.”
Jacob Trouba scored a shorthanded goal in Tuesday’s loss. The Jets were down four goals when Trouba used his backhand to get Winnipeg on the board with under four minutes left in the second period. It’s nine points for the 25-year-old blueliner in his last nine games, bringing him to seven goals and 48 points in 80 games this season.
Eric Comrie allowed five goals on 28 shots. It was Comrie’s first start of the season. Should be No. 1 Connor Hellebuyck back in there Thursday. Hellebuyck turned aside 25 of 28 shots in Monday’s 4-3 OT win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The victory put an end to Hellebuyck’s three-game losing skid. He owns a 33-23-2 record with a 2.91 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage this season.
Winnipeg forward Brandon Tanev left Tuesday an upper-body injury. Tanev has played in all 80 games this season and has 14 goals and 15 assists. Tanev appeared to suffer a hand or finger injury on a slash from Wild forward Eric Staal during the first period. Not yet clear on his status.
- Goals: 3.33
- Shots: 31.11
- PP/PK Percentage: 24.90
- Goals: 2.99
- Shots: 33.45
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.99
Why Bet on Colorado?
The Avs hold the second wild-card spot as of this writing and could clinch here with a point. They come off a big 6-2 home win over Edmonton on Tuesday. Down 2-0, the Avalanche scored four times in the second period. All four goals were scored in a 7:08 span. Colorado extended its lead over Arizona to four points for the final wild-card spot in the West. Both teams have two games remaining.
Alexander Kerfoot registered a pair of goals with a plus-2 rating in Tuesday’s win. The 24-year-old British Columbia native has been a huge part of the Avalanche’s push for a playoff spot. He has rolled up four goals and eight points during his six-game point streak.
Gabriel Landeskog posted a pair of assists with a plus-1 rating. Landeskog had an assist on an even-strength goal and a helper on the power play. He has racked up a goal and five points in his three-game point streak since returning from an upper-body injury.
Tyson Barrie went for a goal, an assist, and a plus-5 rating Tuesday. Barrie has registered seven goals with 14 points and a plus-4 rating across the past 14 games, and five of the helpers have come on the power play. His second point of the night gave him 58 points for a new career high. Semyon Varlamov allowed just two goals on 29 shots.
The Avs remain without excellent winger Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen is still out with an upper-body injury, which is reportedly a midsection issue. He hasn’t played since March 21 and a timetable for his return remains unclear.
- Goals: 3.19
- Shots: 32.59
- PP/PK Percentage: 22.50
- Goals: 2.99
- Shots: 31.89
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.64
Jets vs Avalanche NHL Betting Trends
- Home team is 20-6 in the last 26 meetings
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings
- Favorite is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings
- Jets are 0-5 in the last 5 meetings in Colorado
Expert Final Score Prediction for Jets vs Avalanche
Winnipeg Jets 2 – Colorado Avalanche 3