The Winnipeg Jets have struggled at both ends of the ice during a season-high six-game losing streak. Their next opponent has experienced particular difficulty at one end in its past two games.
The Colorado Avalanche will seek to avoid a franchise-worst third consecutive shutout Sunday and send the Jets to their longest skid since their relocation.
Winnipeg (26-18-10) has been outscored 25-12 during its swoon and gave up a combined 20 goals in the first four defeats. The Jets tightened up enough to force overtime in each of their past two contests and fell 2-1 to Chicago in Friday's opener to a three-game homestand.
"The next game is a must-win for us. It's the biggest game of the year," forward Mathieu Perreault said. "If we can bring the game we've been playing the last two times, I think we'll be fine."
The Jets haven't lost seven in a row since a nine-game skid Dec. 19, 2009-Jan. 5, 2010 - when they were the Atlanta Thrashers - and will try to avoid that by adding to Colorado's scoring woes.
The Avalanche (22-20-11) were shut out for the eighth time this season Saturday, 1-0 in Minnesota, and their scoreless streak of 125:20 is slightly more than 18 minutes shy of matching their longest this season. Colorado opened 2014-15 by going scoreless in 143:28.
"We're not scoring right now. I'm sure we're going to score lots of goals and celebrate soon," goaltender Semyon Varlamov said. "The goalies playing against us have played very well."
Colorado had little trouble finding the net in its most recent game against Winnipeg on Dec. 11, winning 4-3 at home in a shootout. The Avalanche erased a two-goal deficit in the final eight minutes of regulation, with Ryan O'Reilly tallying the tying score with 2:42 left.
Colorado, 1-2-2 in its last five road games, has lost three straight in Winnipeg and took its first regulation defeat there since February 2012 with a 6-2 drubbing Dec. 5. The Jets have taken two of three in the season series, beginning with a 2-1 overtime win at home Oct. 26.
"They've got lots of skill up front and they like to push that kind of (offensive) game," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. "We've given up too many opportunities to score in recent games, so that will be the key for us tomorrow, limiting those chances against."
Jarome Iginla has three of Colorado's six goals against Winnipeg this season. He hasn't recorded a point in his last three games after totaling eight goals and two assists in 14 contests.
Veteran forward Alex Tanguay has four goals and 16 assists in his last 13 matchups with the Jets franchise.
Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd has five goals and three assists in his past four games against Colorado. Bryan Little has nine goals and eight assists in his last 13 matchups, including his second career hat trick and an assist in the Dec. 5 home win.