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Avalanche Hosts Canucks in Western Conference Showdown

The teams are meeting for the final time this season

by Miranda Einhorn /

Wrapping up a two-game homestand, the Colorado Avalanche (27-24-12) takes on the Vancouver Canucks (27-28-8) at Pepsi Center on Wednesday. Colorado is 4-0-1 in its past five games and has generated nine points in its last 11 contests (5-2-4).

The Avalanche holds a 58-42-18 all-time record against the Canucks (since 1995-96), which includes a 29-20-9 mark at home. This is the third and final matchup between the two clubs for the 2018-19 campaign.

Following the outing, the Avs head to California to face the San Jose Sharks on Friday and Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Last Time Out

The Avalanche battled the Florida Panthers into overtime at Pepsi Center on Monday but eventually fell 4-3. While no goals were scored in the first period, Tyson Jost found the back of the net early in the middle frame to get Colorado on the scoreboard first. Mikko Rantanen extended the lead for the Avs, but the Panthers answered with two of their own to close out the second period. Derick Brassard, who was acquired in a trade that morning from Florida, notched his first marker in a Colorado sweater to begin the tallying in the third stanza. A tying goal from the Panthers sent the clash into extra minutes, where Florida lit the lamp 26 seconds in to end the night. The Avs outshot the Panthers 39-38, as goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 34-of-38 shots.

The Canucks shutout the Anaheim Ducks in a 4-0 victory at home on Monday. Bo Horvat was responsible for half of the markers in the competition after Nikolay Goldobin and Alex Biega netted the first two tallies for Vancouver. The Canucks converted on 1-of-2 power-play opportunities, and goalie Jacob Markstrom made all 29 saves to earn his first shutout of the season.

Last Time They Met

Despite outshooting Vancouver 35-26, Colorado dropped a 5-1 contest to the Canucks on Feb. 2 at Pepsi Center. Nikita Zadorov and Matt Nieto assisted on a tally from Matt Calvert in the second but it was not enough to overcome markers from five different Vancouver skaters. Varlamov turned aside 21 pucks in the contest for the Avalanche, while Markstrom stopped 34 for the Canucks.

What To Watch

In The Deep End

In the month of February, 28 of the 40 goals (70 percent) by Colorado have been scored by players not in the top three on the team in scoring. With four goals and six assists in the month so far, Carl Soderberg is tied for the team lead with 10 points. Before Monday's matchup, Soderberg recorded multiple points in three straight outings, his longest multi-point streak of his career (three goals, four assists). He shares the team lead in short-handed markers (three) with J.T. Compher, who has eight points (four goals, four assists) this month.


Semyon Varlamov was named on Monday the NHL's First Star for the week ending on Feb. 24. During that span, he went 3-0-0 and notched his 25th-career shutout in a win versus the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 18. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer also posted his first shutout of the season last week, making 38 saves in a 5-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday to help extend the Avs' then-win streak to four games. The German goalie owns a 10-7-3 record through 24 games this year, while Varlamov is 17-15-9 after suiting up in 42 outings.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Center Derick Brassard

The Avalanche acquired Derick Brassard from the Panthers prior to Monday's game, where the forward notched his first goal with his new team. It was Brassard's 20th point of the season, bringing his total to 11 goals and nine assists in 51 total NHL contests. A first-round (sixth overall) pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2007 NHL Draft, Brassard has spent time with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida, amassing 448 points (173 goals, 275 assists) in 767 career games.

Vancouver: Center Bo Horvat

Horvat notched two goals in Vancouver's previous outing, his 22nd and 23rd of the season, respectively. He ranks second on the Canucks with 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) and needs one more point on the power play to set a new career high in the category (presently at 13). He ranks second in the NHL with 833 faceoff wins this year. In 13 career clashes against the Avalanche, Horvat has notched nine points (four goals, five assists).

The Details

Wednesday's matchup between the Avalanche and Canucks is slated for 7:30 p.m. MT. The game can be watched locally on Altitude and streamed on select devices with the AltitudeNOW app (in market) or (out of market). The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at

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