Avalanche-Jets Preview

Goals have become hard to come by for the Colorado Avalanche,

and one of the worst power-play droughts in franchise history has

certainly played a role.

Three weeks have passed since they scored on the power play, a

stretch which has coincided with the Avalanche’s overall offensive

struggles and dropped them to the bottom of the Western Conference

playoff picture.

Colorado will again try to get things turned around when it

visits the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

“Our guys have to do more to put goals on the board. Plain and

simple,” said center Paul Stastny, who has no points in the last

seven games.

The Avalanche (20-9-0) were scoring 3.38 goals per game through

Nov. 10 and had the league’s best winning percentage at 14-2-0

under new coach Patrick Roy. His club has since gone 6-7-0 while

averaging 2.14 goals, falling to eighth in the West.

The Avalanche have not scored more than three goals in eight

straight games after never going more than three in a row through

their first 21.

“I think we need a bit of confidence offensively,” Roy said.

“The chances are there, it’s just a matter of time before they go

in. During that time we’re going to have to find other ways to

score.”

Maybe with the man advantage.

The eight-game stretch without surpassing three goals dates to a

4-3 win in Phoenix on Nov. 21, also the last time they scored on

the power play. The power-play drought matches the team’s longest

since moving to Colorado in 1995.

The Avalanche have gone 0 for 22 during that stretch, which also

has seen Matt Duchene fail to score even though he tops the team

with 12 goals.

Colorado gave up its 11th power-play goal in 12 games Tuesday,

falling 3-1 to Phoenix for its third loss in four contests.

“They score on their power play, we didn’t, and then I think

we’re just getting away from our game,” winger Gabriel Landeskog

said. “We’re playing by ourselves, individually, and that’s not

going to work against any team.”

Allowing a power-play goal with 3:02 to play cost Winnipeg on

Tuesday in a 2-1 home loss to St. Louis.

It was the only goal the Jets (14-14-4) have surrendered while

short-handed over the last five games, but they weren’t overly

discouraged considering the winner appeared to bounce off one or

more players.

“I thought we played a pretty good game other than the fact that

we didn’t finish the game the right way,” coach Claude Noel said.

“They scored a seeing-eye power-play goal, what can you do?”

The Jets, who were coming off a 4-2-0 road trip, have lost four

consecutive home games – matching their worst home skid since

moving to Winnipeg in 2011. The franchise hasn’t had a longer one

since dropping seven straight in Atlanta from Nov. 20-Dec. 18,

2008.

Colorado lost on its only visit to Winnipeg against the Jets

franchise, 5-1 on Feb. 19, 2012, as Bryan Little scored twice.

Little, who got his team-leading 13th goal Tuesday after an

eight-game drought, has five goals and three assists in his last

six matchups with the Avalanche. He had one of each in the only

meeting this season, but the Jets lost 3-2 in Colorado on Oct. 27

on Stastny’s goal with 5:28 to play.