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Avs Conclude Back-To-Back Set In Arizona

by Danielle Bernstein /

Following a 1-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night at Pepsi Center, the Avalanche is looking to rebound on the road as the team travels to Arizona for a Saturday night tilt with the Coyotes.

It's the second back-to-back set of the season for Colorado, which will play six games in the next nine days.

A slow start plagued the Avs on Friday, and it's something they'll look to rectify heading into Saturday's matchup. Of their 37 total shots on the night--a season high--just six were put on net in the game's opening period. 

"I didn't love our start. The first couple minutes we're on our heels and we don't have a great first period. As we started to find our game in the second and third period, I liked what we did," head coach Jared Bednar said following Friday's game. "Again, we have to capitalize. We'll show them the differences and the things that we did well in order to kind of sustain that momentum through the last two periods. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a full 60."

The Avalanche is 41-25-4-6 against the Arizona organization (since the 1995-96 season) and 20-14-2-2 as the road team in the meetings. Colorado has had some success in the season series in recent history, posting a 7-2-0-1 record in its last 10 games versus the club.

The Coyotes are 2-5 so far this season, tied with the New York Islanders for the most losses in the league, and sit in last place in the Pacific Division. They're coming off a 5-4 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson leads the team with five goals, which is tied for fifth in the league, while Brad Richardson's six points lead the Coyotes. Arizona has allowed a league high 4.29 goals per game.

Special teams have been a strong element of Colorado's game, particularly in recent contests. The Avalanche was a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill Friday night and has not allowed a power-play goal in its last 98:30 of play, proving successful on 11 of the last 12 times shorthanded.

Despite going scoreless on three opportunities with the man advantage on Friday, Bednar was happy with his team's power play.

"That's probably the most I've liked our power play all year to be honest," he said. "The one power play in the second period, two full minutes in their zone. If you're doing that and you're shooting and you're creating some good looks, that's pretty good. I'll take that power play over and over again."

Colorado will attempt to leave Friday in the past and focus on tonight's matchup with the Coyotes, looking to take a third win on the road.

"The best way to do it is just to turn the page and get right back at it tomorrow," said Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog. "We really have to make sure we get back playing the way we want to on the road and get a big road win."

Netminder Calvin Pickard will get the start in goal--his second of the season--as Semyon Varlamov played the entire game versus the Jets on Friday. Pickard is 1-0 this season after posting a 4-3 win in overtime at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT.

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