The Colorado Avalanche hosts the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night in its home opener after beginning the season with three-straight road games.
The Avs finished the road trip with a 2-1-0 record and sit in third place in the Central Division. The Bruins enter Wednesday's tilt with a 1-1-0 mark, as they take to the road for the first time in the regular season after hosting both the Avs and Nashville Predators at home.
Colorado is 20-10-1-0 all-time against Boston (since 1995-96), which includes an 8-8-0 mark on home ice.
Last Time They Met
Colorado handed Boston its first loss of the season on Monday afternoon in the first encounter of 2017-18 between the two teams. It was the Avalanche's 10th straight victory in Boston.
The Avs came out firing with a two-goal first period as Sven Andrighetto snuck the puck past Boston netminder Tuukka Rask less than five minutes into the frame with assists from Mikko Rantanen and Nikita Zadorov. To further the lead, J.T. Compher snagged a short-handed goal just past the midway point of the frame to put Colorado up 2-0.
After a scoreless second stanza, Nail Yakupov sealed the win for the Avs by finding the back of the net twice in the third to end the game with a final score of 4-0.
With 29 saves, Semyon Varlamov earned his first shutout of the season and 22nd of his career. He's now 2-0-0 on the season with a .971 save percentage through two starts.
What to Watch
Special Teams Turn Around
The Avs have yet to concede an even-strength goal this season but have allowed six goals while a man down in their first two games. Against Boston on Monday, Colorado was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and tallied a short-handed goal. It was the improvement on special teams that head coach Jared Bednar was looking for out of his lineup.
"Penalty kill was outstanding," Bednar said following Monday's game. "Gave up a chance or two, but mostly doing the right things. Our clears were better."
Wednesday's matchup is the final of two meetings this season between the Avs and the Bruins. Boston travels to the Mile High City for the second part of this home-and-home series, but it's a place where the B's have had more success in the all-time series. The Bruins have won five of the last six outings at Pepsi Center.
Players to Watch
Colorado: Forward Tyson Jost
Some changes to the line combinations on Monday afternoon landed Jost on the Avs' third trio with Compher and Gabriel Landeskog. The 2016 first-round draft pick has been a young building block of the team this year, joining five other rookies on the Avs. The center notched his first NHL assist in Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils and now has two points (goal and assist) in nine career contests with Colorado.
Boston: Forward David Pastrnak
Pastrnak currently leads the Bruins in shots on goal, registering seven through two games played this season. The right wing had three shots on Varlamov during Monday's contest, but he couldn't bury one. The Bruin found the back of the net once in the team's first outing of the season for his only point of the campaign so far.
The Avalanche takes the ice at Pepsi Center for the first time in the 2017-18 campaign at 7:30 p.m. MT. The game can be watched on Altitude TV and the radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.