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Avs Close Out Trip In Calgary

by Danielle Bernstein / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Avalanche looks to avenge its Dec. 27 loss to the Flames as it faces Calgary for the first of two to be played on the road this season and the second of three in the 2016-17 series. 

The Avs are 54-47-10 overall against the Flames and 26-24-4 on the road in the all-time series. Colorado has won four of the last seven meetings at Scotiabank Saddedome, including the only road matchup of the 2015-16 campaign, a 4-3 shootout victory for the Burgundy and Blue.

 

Last Time Out

The Avalanche opened the new year with a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night. Mikko Rantanen notched a power-play goal, and Tyson Barrie scored midway through the third period to knot the game at two, but Vancouver answered with a late man-advantage tally to take its second straight win in the 2016-17 matchup.

Wednesday's game will be the first of 2017 for the Flames, who topped the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on New Year's Eve. Calgary got out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the first period before Arizona tallied goals in the second and third frames to account for the final score. The Flames were 2-for-4 on the power play while holding Arizona scoreless on four man-advantage opportunities.

 

Last Time They Met

Despite a two-goal night from captain Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche dropped a 6-3 decision to the Flames on Dec. 27. Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund potted two tallies apiece to pace Calgary in the win. The Avalanche was 0-for-6 on the power play.

 

What to Watch

Special Teams

Calgary's power play ranks 12th overall, finishing on 19.5 percent of its man-advantage opportunities, but the Flames were the league's top power-play unit in the month of December, converting at a 34.7 percent clip.

The Avs' power play has seen far more success on the road than it has on home ice, finding twine on 18.3 percent of their man-advantage opportunities away from Pepsi Center, which ranks 17th in the league.

Barrie's Point Streak

Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie brings a career-long five-game point streak into Wednesday's tilt. The streak is also the longest by an Avalanche player this season. Barrie has registered a goal and six assists through this stretch.

 

Player to Watch

Colorado: Goaltender Calvin Pickard

Pickard will make his sixth straight start on Wednesday, matching a career high for consecutive starts set from Dec. 9-21, 2014.

"I think he's been a little bit hot and cold for us. I really liked his game last night," head coach Jared Bednar said after Wednesday's practice at Scotiabank Saddledome. "I thought after a couple rough outings, that last night he really settled in and kind of got back to his game and made a lot of big saves for us and kept us in that hockey game and gave us a chance to win."

Calgary: Center Mikael Backlund

Backlund, who played a key role in Calgary's first game against the Avalanche, carries a career-long four-game point streak into Wednesday's match. He's registered five goals and three assists in those four contests and has a plus-6 rating over that span.

 

Lineup Notes

Bednar noted after Wednesday's practice that the lineup would remain unchanged from Monday's tilt in Vancouver with Andreas Martinsen the healthy scratch at forward. Defenseman Eric Gelinas will be out with a lower-body injury, and his status is day-to-day.

 

The Details

The Avalanche and the Flames square off at 8 p.m. MT, and the game can be watched live on Altitude TV. Radio listeners can tune into Altitude Sports Radio AM950 to catch the action or listen in online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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