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Colorado's Road Trip Continues at New Jersey

Avalanche faces Devils for the first of two meetings this season

by Danielle Bernstein / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche's four-game road trip continues Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. The Avs were 0-2-0 in last year's season series but has won three of the last five matchups on the road against the Devils. New Jersey enters the game as the last remaining undefeated team in the league at 4-0-0.

Last Time Out

The Avalanche needed extra time for the second-straight game but lost 3-2 in a shootout to the New York Rangers to begin its second road trip of the season on Tuesday night. Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon each scored for Colorado, which finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Semyon Varlamov stopped 41-of-43 shots, as Colorado was outshot 43-33.

The Devils are coming off a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars at home on Tuesday night. New Jersey held a 34-24 advantage in shots and got goals from Kyle Palmieri, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Blake Coleman. Keith Kinkaid stopped all 24 shots he faced, and the Devils scored one goal on six power-play opportunities.

Last Time They Met

The Devils earned a 2-1 victory in the teams' last meeting on Dec. 1, 2017 at Pepsi Center. New Jersey's Jesper Bratt and Colorado's J.T. Compher scored in the second period, and the Devils' Brian Boyle scored on a power play 6:11 into the third period in what ended up as the game-winner. Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots while his New Jersey counterpart, Cory Schneider, made 22 saves.

What To Watch

Avs Streaking

Nathan MacKinnon has registered at least one goal in each of Colorado's first six games, breaking the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise record for longest season-opening goal streak. MacKinnon eclipsed the mark set by Mats Sundin in 1992-93 (five games). MacKinnon's six-game goal streak is the longest for any point in a season by a Colorado player since Milan Hejduk (seven games) from Feb. 11-23, 2003.

Mikko Rantanen extended his season-opening assist streak to six games. He's the first Avalanche player to begin a season with assists in each of his first six contests since John-Michael Liles in 2010-11 (nine games). Rantanen's streak is also tied for the second-longest assist streak to start a season in franchise history (Paul Stastny, 2008-09).

Top PKs Square Off

Colorado and New Jersey rank second and third, respectively, in penalty killing through the early stages of the season. The Avalanche was 5-for-6 on the penalty kill against the Rangers on Tuesday, surrendering a 5-on-4 goal for the first time this year. The Avs are now 27-for-29 (93.1 percent) on the kill this season, which ranks second in the league to the Tampa Bay Lightning--the only team that has yet to allow a power-play goal in 2018-19. New Jersey is 13-for-14 (92.9 percent) in short-handed situations through its first four contests of the season.

Barrie Approaches Milestones

Tyson Barrie is one point from tying Sandis Ozolinsh (253) for third place on the franchise's defenseman scoring list. He's also one goal away from matching Rob Blake (62) for third place in franchise history for goals by a defenseman.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Right Wing Sven Andrighetto

Andrighetto missed Colorado's first six contests with a lower-body injury but joined the team in New Jersey and skated in a full practice with the Avs on Wednesday. Head coach Jared Bednar indicated after the club's on-ice session that the forward would be available to make his season debut in Thursday night's contest. Andrighetto registered 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 50 appearances with the Avalanche last season and added a goal in six playoff games; his tally being the memorable game-winning goal in Game 5 of Colorado's first-round matchup against Nashville.

New Jersey: Right Wing Kyle Palmieri

Palmieri extended his goal streak to four games on Tuesday night. Each of his tallies have been the first goal of the game for the Devils, making him the first player in NHL history to score his team's opening goal in four consecutive contests to begin a season. He's also the third player to score a power-play goal in each of his team's first four outing in a campaign since the NHL officially began tracking the statistic in 1933-34.

The Details

Puck drop for Thursday night's contest against New Jersey is at 5 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live on Altitude TV or streamed on the AltitudeNOW app or NHL.tv. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM in the Denver area and at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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