At the midway point of the season's longest road trip of the season, the Colorado Avalanche (20-16-8) takes on the Montreal Canadiens (23-17-5) at Bell Centre on Saturday.
Colorado holds a 19-9-3 record against Montreal (since 1995-96) which includes a 7-7-2 mark on the road. This is the second and final time the clubs will face off during the 2018-19 regular season.
To wrap up the five-game trip through Canada, the Avalanche battle the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.
Last Time Out
Despite outshooting the Calgary Flames 35-16, the Avs fell 5-3 to the Flames on Wednesday. It was the second game in a back-to-back set and Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche. Gabriel Landeskog recorded two assists while Matt Calvert and Tyson Jost also added a helper each.
The Canadiens were held to one goal on Thursday as the team lost 4-1 to the Blues in St. Louis. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jeff Petry assisted on a power-play tally by Brendan Gallagher, but it was not enough to stop the Blues, who outblocked Montreal 17-7. Canadiens netminder Carey Price stopped 26-of-30 shots.
Last Time They Met
The Avalanche beat Montreal 2-1 at Pepsi Center on Dec. 19. It was Mikko Rantanen's 200th NHL game and both he and Gabriel Landeskog lit the lamp for Colorado while Brendan Gallagher netted the sole marker for the Canadiens. Philipp Grubauer spent all 60 minutes between the pipes, making 35-of-36 saves.
What To Watch
Avs Against The East
The Avalanche are 12-5-2 against the Eastern Conference this season. On the road against the opposing conference, Colorado has generated 13 points in 10 games and has scored three or more goals in six outings. The Avs have notched 19 power-play tallies against Eastern teams, including nine as the visiting team.
After Wednesday's clash, Erik Johnson and all three members of Colorado's top line are on point streaks. Rantanen (three goals, three assists), Landeskog (three goals, three assists) and Johnson (one goal, two assists) have all registered points in the past three contests, which is a season-high for Johnson. MacKinnon has registered at least one point in the past eight games (five goals, six assists) which is one game fewer than his nine-game run to start the season (Oct. 4-22). Both MacKinnon (five goals, six assists; 10 games) and Rantanen (four goals, one assist; five games) have registered at least a point-per-game over their careers when playing against Montreal.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Left Wing Matt Calvert
Calvert has contributed points in three of the Avs' past four outings (one goal, two assists). He has generated six goals and eight assists over 44 contests in his first season with the Avalanche. He has one point and eleven penalty minutes in nine career games against Montreal.
Montreal: Left Wing Jonathan Drouin
Drouin has notched five points (two goals, three assists) over seven career games he's played against Colorado, which includes an assist in the December clash between the clubs. The 23-year-old forward has produced 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 45 games this season and is tied for second on the Canadiens in overall scoring.
Saturday's matchup between the Avalanche and the Canadiens is slated for 5 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the AltitudeNOW app (in market) or on 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.