The Colorado Avalanche (8-6-3) takes on the Boston Bruins (10-5-2) on Wednesday night in the first of two games the teams will clash in this season. The contest is the first of a two-game homestand for the Avs that concludes with the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals visiting Pepsi Center on Friday.
Colorado holds a 21-10-1 all-time record against Boston (since 1995-96), which includes a 9-8-0 mark at home. The Avalanche was victorious in both outings against the Bruins last year, shutting out the B's 4-0 at TD Garden on Oct. 9 and topping them 6-3 at the Avs' home opener two days later.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Sunday. Mikko Rantanen and the top line opened the scoring 26 seconds into the first period and Carl Soderberg rounded out the frame at 15:33, tallying his sixth goal of the season. Alexander Kerfoot and Tyson Barrie added insurance goals for Colorado in the second period before the Oilers notched their lone goal in the third stanza. The Avs went 1-for-2 on the power play and successfully killed all three penalties they took. Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves on 27 shots and now posts a .929 save percentage on the season.
The Bruins also won 4-1 on Sunday, beating the Vegas Golden Knights. Danton Heinen, Jeremy Lauzon, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak all tallied for Boston. It was a two-point night for Pastrnak, as he was also credited with an assist on Marchand's marker. Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped 37-of-38 shots as Vegas outshot Boston 38-37.
Last Time They Met
The Avalanche beat the Bruins 6-3 at Pepsi Center on Oct. 11, 2017. Alexander Kerfoot scored the first goal of the game, which happened to be his first-career NHL tally. Sven Andrighetto's two goals matched a career high for the forward, while Nail Yakupov, Matt Duchene and Tyson Jost contributed single markers. Jost's score stood as the second of his career. Brad Marchand, Tim Schaller and Torey Krug all racked up goals for Boston. Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 20-of-23 pucks as Colorado outshot the Bruins 37-23.
What To Watch
Follow The Leaders
Both the Avalanche and Bruins have league-leading point-getters on their top lines. In terms of total points, Mikko Rantanen (26), Patrice Bergeron (25), Nathan MacKinnon (24) and David Pastrnak stand first (tied), third, fourth and fifth (tied) in the NHL. In addition, both teams have at least one player in the top 10 for both goals and assists.
The Avalanche stands tied for third in the league in goals per game at 3.47 and ranks seventh for total goals scored (59), four behind NHL-leading Toronto. Colorado played a couple high-scoring affairs a year ago versus Boston, outscoring the Bruins by a 10-3 margin.
The Avs rank seventh in the NHL on both the power play and penalty kill. Colorado has successfully shut down 82.8 percent of shorthanded situations its faced and converted on 25.4 percent of man-advantage opportunities. Boston stands third on the power play with a 30-percent success rate and 18th for the PK after nullifying the man-down bind 80.3 percent of the time.
The Avalanche is one of five teams to rank among the top 10 in both categories, joining Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Center Carl Soderberg
After registering two points (one goal, one assist) in the Avs' previous outing against Edmonton, Soderberg is tied for third on the team with six goals and is sixth on Colorado with 11 points (six goals, five assists). The forward also has a history with Boston, having started his NHL career with the club. Soderberg skated in 161 regular-season games with the Bruins between the 2012-13 and 2014-15 campaigns, registering 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists) and helping Boston to Stanley Cup Final in 2013. In the six games he has played against his former team, Soderberg has recorded two goals and one assist.
Boston: Right Wing David Pastrnak
After netting seven points (five goals, two assists) in four games, Pastrnak was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday. Four of the forward's five goals came on the power play, and he is now tied for first in the league with seven man-advantage markers on the year. The 22-year-old's 16 goals lead the NHL while his 23 points are tied for fifth overall.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start in net for the Avalanche for the fourth-straight game. Sven Andrighetto continues to recover from his lower-body injury and practiced with the team for the first time on Tuesday, but he won't play against Boston and is considered doubtful for Friday's contest, according to Bednar. The Swiss forward could possibly return to action on the club's upcoming three-game road trip in California and Arizona next week.
Wednesday's contest between the Avalanche and Bruins is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live locally on Altitude 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.
Happy Hour tickets are still available for the game. The package includes two tickets and two beers starting at $70.