The Colorado Avalanche wraps up a three-game road trip on Saturday as the team faces the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Colorado is looking to return home with six total points after picking up wins in the first two contests of the trip, stretching the squad's win streak to five games.
The Avalanche swept its Canadian back-to-back by claiming a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) made a strong return to the lineup after missing 16 games by scoring one of the Avs' three goals. Matt Calvert also made his presence felt in his second game back after missing six contests with a head injury, notching a goal and an assist.
Philipp Grubauer is undefeated in his three career starts against the Bruins, saving 93 of the 97 Boston shots he's seen. He has a career .959 save percentage and 1.32 goals-against average when facing the B's.
Boston had its eight-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday, losing 4-3 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games (8-0-2), with their only other loss in that time coming against the Washington Capitals. The meeting in Boston is the season-series finale for the Avalanche and Bruins.
Avalanche at Boston Bruins
TD Garden | Boston, Mass.
Colorado forwards Matt Nieto (2010-2013) and Colin Wilson (2007-2009) both played at Boston University… Cale Makar played two seasons (2017-2019) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before turning pro last spring… J.T. Compher's sister Jesse plays on the Boston University women's hockey team… Avs assistant general manager Craig Billington played two seasons (1994-1996) for the Bruins as a goaltender before being acquired by Colorado in 1996… Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco was Colorado's head coach from 2009-2013… Boston's Chris Wagner spent part of the 2015-16 season with the Avalanche… Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo was born in Colorado Springs and played for the Colorado Thunderbirds program... Boston forward Danton Heinen played two seasons at the University of Denver (2014-2016).
The Avalanche franchise owns a 30-31-10 all-time record against the Bruins as the visiting team and a 59-72-16 mark overall. Since moving to Denver in 1995, the Avs have fared much better, going 23-10-2 against the B's and sporting a 12-2-2 record in Boston. Colorado is 2-0-1 against the Bruins since the 2018-19 campaign and won the first matchup this season with a 4-2 win on Oct. 10, the third game of the year for the Avs.
The Avalanche was down 2-0 in the first period of that Oct. 10 matchup but scored four unanswered goals throughout the rest of the game to claim the victory. Nathan MacKinnon, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog all tallied to give the Avs the win.
Gabriel Landeskog is back in the lineup after missing 16 games with a lower-body injury… Andre Burakovsky met the team in Toronto and returned to game action in Montreal after being out for three game with an upper-body injury… Philipp Grubauer is expected to start in goal for the Avs.
Nazem Kadri is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and missed his first game of the season on Thursday… Vladislav Kamenev has missed the past two outings due to an illness… Erik Johnson (lower body) did not travel with the team on the road trip… Colin Wilson (lower body) is scheduled to have surgery and is out indefinitely.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division and are second in the NHL with a 20-3-5 record and 45 points. Boston has won nine of its last 11 games (9-0-2) and are 9-0-4 in its last 13 contests. The team's last regulation loss was nearly a month ago on Nov. 8 at the Detroit Red Wings (4-2). Last year's Stanley Cup runner-up also has the largest goals differential in the league with a plus-35, with 104 goals for and only 69 goals against. Its 42 goals in the third period lead the NHL.
Boston is scoring on 29.4 percent of its power plays, the second-most in the league, and killing 84.3 percent of its penalties, which ranks ninth overall.
The Bruins have two players in the top five of points in the league with Brad Marchand in third with 44 (18 goals, 26 assists) and David Pastrnak in fifth with 43 (25 goals, 18 assists). Marchand also has a plus-19 rating, tied for the second-highest in the NHL.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak is the current goal-leader in the NHL after scoring 25 so far this season. He has tallied 43 points (25 goals, 18 assists) this year, and his 1.48 points per game are the sixth-highest in the league. Pastrnak also leads the league with 12 power-play goals this season and ranks in fifth place with 113 shots on goal.
Pastrnak was selected by Boston in the first round (No. 25 overall) of the 2014 draft. He is in his sixth season with the Bruins and is coming off of a career-high 2018-19 campaign, where he notched 81 points (38 goals, 43 assists). He has a plus-54 rating in his career and has tallied 327 total points (157 goals, 170 assists) in 348 NHL contests.
The Avs have scored two short-handed goals in their last two contests, both of which ended up as the game-winning tallies. Valeri Nichushkin notched the first shorty in a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, and Matt Calvert netted the second in the 3-2 victory at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. It was the first time that Colorado had scored on the penalty kill in consecutive games since Dec. 4-6, 2018.
Colorado has scored at least three goals in every contest of its five-game winning streak. The Avs have scored 22 total goals in that time, getting them from 13 different players.
Ian Cole will likely play his 500th career NHL game on Saturday at the Bruins. He has played 94 of the last 499 as a member of the Avalanche after previously skating for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. Cole has tallied 122 points (22 goals, 100 assists) in his NHL career.
The Avs were the first team in the Western Conference this year to reach 100 goals for, reaching the milestone after only 27 games… Colorado is one of three teams to have scored more than 100 goals… Ryan Graves is currently plus-18, the fourth-highest in the league… Mikko Rantanen has points and assists in each of his last three games since returning from a lower-body injury and has registered at least a point in each of the last five games he's played … The Avs currently lead the NHL averaging at 3.68 goals per game… After the matchup in Boston, the Avalanche will return to Denver for a three-game homestand beginning against the Calgary Flames on Monday.