DENVER — Evan Rodrigues scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to help lift the Avalanche to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. The last regular-season home game is often one met with hope and excitement for the playoffs. After all, Colorado is on its way to the postseason for the sixth consecutive year and is expected to contend for the Stanley Cup once again. But the team announced hours before puck drop that captain Gabriel Landeskog will not partake in the team’s attempt to repeat as champions. Landeskog has already missed the entire regular season.

“We kind of had a bit of an idea for a while,” defenseman Bowen Byram said. “It’s tough, he’s our leader and an unbelievable player and we missed him so much all year. But at a time like this, we know that he’s got to take care of himself and get himself back to 100% so he can play.”

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The triumph was crucial ahead of the last remaining game in the regular season. The Avs control their own destiny to clinch the top seed in the Central Division and close out the season in Nashville on Friday.

Head coach Jared Bednar says he won’t rest any players for that game — a luxury the team could’ve had if the St. Louis Blues were able to defeat the Dallas Stars earlier in the day. Bednar also says he hasn’t decided if Alexandar Georgiev will start on consecutive nights or if the team will turn to backup Pavel Francouz.

The regular-season finale will not only determine playoff seeding, but it will also have a say in who Colorado hosts in Round 1 of the postseason. If the Avalanche win, they’ll take on either the Seattle Kraken or Los Angeles Kings, depending on how Thursday’s later games shake out. But if Colorado loses, it drops to the No. 2 seed in the division and will play host to the No. 3 Minnesota Wild in the first round.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Georgiev said of the Avs’ ability to win the division. “You have to take these chances when you’re given them. Get a good rest and go again tomorrow.”

Georgiev made 18 saves, earning his 39th victory of the season. If he doesn’t play Friday, Georgiev’s first regular season as an NHL starter will end with a 39-16-6 record, a .919 save percentage and five shutouts. Georgiev is one of seven goalies to start at least 60 games this season.

“A lot of good things, I would say,” Georgiev said of his season. “Just trying to be consistent and give our team a chance to win and taking it day by day. Guys are playing great. Every game we had a good chance to get two points.”

Denis Malgin, Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen also scored for the Avs, who welcomed Lehkonen back into the lineup following a 15-game absence. Lehkonen had the empty netter in his return and also assisted on the Rodrigues game-winner. Meanwhile, Rantanen’s crucial game-tying goal, which came on the power play, was his 55th of the season — passing Joe Sakic for the most goals in a single season in Avalanche history.

The injury bug stung the Avs again. Both Andrew Cogliano (upper body) and Malgin left the game with injuries. There is no timetable yet for either of them. Bednar said he does not know at this time if either of their ailments will be a concern moving forward.