The Colorado Avalanche heads to Vancouver as it hits the midway point of its five-game road trip with a matchup against the Canucks on Saturday.
The Avs are coming off a 6-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, following their dominant 4-0 performance in Winnipeg on Tuesday. Andre Burakovsky scored both Avs' goals in the contest, his second multi-goal outing this season.
Vancouver is also looking to rebound after Thursday night, as the Canucks lost 4-2 to the Dallas Stars. Jake Virtanen and Troy Stecher tallied for Vancouver in the loss.
It is the first of three meetings between the Avalanche and Canucks this year, and the first of two at Rogers Arena.
Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks
Rogers Arena | Vancouver, British Columbia
Jayson Megna played 58 games for the Canucks from 2016-17 and one game in 2017-18… Kevin Connauton was drafted by the Canucks in 2009 and played for the WHL's Vancouver Giants in 2009-10… Tyson Jost played two-plus seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Penticton Vees (2014-2016) and spent three years in Kelowna at the Pursuit of Excellence Acadmey and Okanagan Rockets... Jost and Vancouver forward Brock Boeser were teammates at North Dakota in 2016-17… J.T. Compher and Canucks forward Tyler Motte were teammates at Michigan from 2013-2016... Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is from Burnaby, British Columbia.
The Avalanche has played the Canucks more than it's played 28 other teams (exceptions: Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers) and leads the all-time series with Vancouver 75-63-26. Colorado is 4-3-3 in its last 10 games against the Canucks and won the last meeting 3-2 in a shootout on Feb. 27 last year.
Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon scored in the first period of that game, helping the Avs to a 1-1-1 record against its conference rival in 2018-19. In his career, Nathan MacKinnon has 16 points (six assists, 10 goals) in 17 games against the Canucks, while Colin Wilson has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 25 outings. Since he entered the league with the Quebec Nordiques in 1988, Joe Sakic has the most points of any NHL player against Vancouver with 97 (31 goals, 66 assists).
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (concussion) returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing two games. He centered a line with Valeri Nichushkin and Matt Nieto… Goaltender Adam Werner made his first career NHL start and Antoine Bibeau made his Avalanche debut midway through the second period… Kevin Connauton also made his season debut for the Avs on Thursday.
Pavel Francouz is in concussion protocol… Nikita Zadorov, who's been out since injuring his jaw last Thursday against the Nashville Predators, met the team in Vancouver… Philipp Grubauer (lower body) participated in morning skate on Thursday and practiced with the team on Friday… Mikko Rantanen (lower body) continues to skate back in Denver… Gabriel Landeskog and Colin Wilson remain on injured reserve with lower-body injuries.
SCOUTING THE CANUCKS
Vancouver enters the contest at 10-7-3, tied for third place in the Pacific Division. The Canucks are 1-4-0 in their last five games. They boast the fifth-best power play at home at 31 percent, scoring on nine of 29 opportunities this year.
The Canucks have also generally seen a rise in production as the game progresses. They've scored 18 goals in the first period, 22 in the second and 23 in the third, the last of which ranks tied for ninth in the NHL. Elias Pettersson leads the offense with 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists), while J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser tie for second on the team, mirroring each other's stats with eight goals and 11 assists.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Brock Boeser
Boeser was on a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) before it was snapped Thursday, and he ranks second on the team with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) this year. He's also been successful in his early career in games against the Avalanche.
The 22-year-old has eight points (three goals, five assists) in six career contests against the Avalanche. Last season, he had a four-point game (two goals, two assists) in Vancouver's 7-6 overtime win on Nov. 2 against Colorado, Boeser recorded a goal in the Canucks 5-1 win on Feb. 2. He then registered an assist in the final meeting, a 3-2 Avs win, to lead his team with six points in the series.
The Avalanche is averaging 3.58 goals-per-game this season, tied for the fourth-best in the NHL.
Andre Burakovsky registered a two-goal game in Edmonton, the 10th time an Avalanche player has scored at least two goals in one night this season. Colorado is one of just three teams (Edmonton and Washington) with a multi-goal scorer in at least 10 games so far this year.
Erik Johnson recorded his 200th career point with the Avalanche (58 goals, 142 assists), with an assist in Thursday's game against the Oilers. Johnson, who began his career with the St. Louis Blues, has 291 points total (78 goals, 213 assists).
The Avalanche has allowed a league-low 10 goals in the third period this season… Antoine Bibeau made his Avalanche debut on Thursday, entering the contest with 11:28 left in the second period and stopped nine shots… Nazem Kadri is on a season-long four-game point streak (one goal, four assists) ... The Avs are playing a season-long four games in a row against Canadian teams on their current road trip…After Vancouver, the team travels to play the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.