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Avs Face Blues in St. Louis

It is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season

by Dan Vatch / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche (17-9-5) will play in its 20th road game of the season when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues (11-14-4) at 6 p.m. MT on Friday at Enterprise Center. It is the second of four meetings between the Central Division rivals during the 2018-19 campaign.

Since relocating to Denver in 1995, the Avs own a 47-35-11 all-time mark against the Blues, with a 19-22-4 record as the visiting team. Colin Wilson leads all Colorado skaters with 17 career points (seven goals, 10 assists) against St. Louis while Nathan MacKinnon (eight goals, eight assists) and Gabriel Landeskog (two goals, 14assists) each have 16 career points versus the Blues.

After the outing, the Avalanche opens a four-game homestand with a Division Rival Night against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Last Time Out

The Avs outshot the Edmonton Oilers 43-26 but fell 6-4 at Pepsi Center on Tuesday. Gabriel Landeskog (two goals, two assists) and Mikko Rantanen (one goal, three assists) each notched four-points in the outing. Colin Wilson added his eighth marker of the year while Nathan MacKinnon registered two helpers. Semyon Varlamov made 15 saves for the Avs and Philipp Grubauer stopped five shots in a relief appearance. Colorado won 62.3 percent of their face-offs against the Oilers, the highest single-game win percentage since April 4, 2017 when they were victorious on 64.7 percent of their draws in a 4-3 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blues prevailed in a 4-3 victory against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday behind two goals from David Perron. Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev also tallied while netminder Jake Allen made 22 saves between the pipes. With the win, St. Louis has now earned points in three of its last four games.

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche fought back from a 2-0 deficit, but fell 3-2 in extra time to St. Louis at Pepsi Center on Nov. 30. After Blues goals from Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen in the first period, the Avs answered with a tally from Nikita Zadorov in the second frame and a Mikko Rantanen marker in the final regulation period. St. Louis earned the extra point 1:34 into overtime when Colton Parayko scored his second game-winner of the season. Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves, while Jake Allen stopped 27 shots for the Blues.

What to Watch

Power Source

The Avs have scored on the power play in 22 of their 31 games so far this season and currently stand second in the NHL, capitalizing at a 29.7 percent rate with the man advantage. In the first meeting of the season between the Avalanche and Blues, Colorado went 1-for-4 on the power play.

Going on a Rant

Mikko Rantanen extended his career-long point streak to 12 games (six goals, 17 assists) with a goal and three helpers against the Oilers. The Nousiainen, Finland, native is tied with the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin for the longest active streak in the NHL and only one player had a longer streak so far this season.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson

The Avalanche alternate captain has 199 career assists in 668 career games entering Friday's matchup against his former team. Johnson spent his first 203 NHL outings in a Blues sweater before he was acquired by the Avalanche on Feb. 19, 2011. The 30-year-old defenseman leads Colorado blueliners with 21:51 of ice time per game.

St. Louis: Left Wing Alexander Steen

Steen leads active St. Louis skaters with 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 43 career games against the Avalanche. In his last five outings against Colorado, the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native has tallied four points (two goals, two assists) including a power-play goal on Nov. 30 in Denver. Steen has 12 points (six goals, six assists) for the Blues this season.

The Details

Friday's contest between the Avalanche and Blues is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live locally on Altitude 2 or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now app (in market) or NHL.tv (out of market). The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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