The Colorado Avalanche (9-6-4) hits the road again as it heads west for a three-game stretch against Pacific Division opponents. First up is a Sunday night contest against the Anaheim Ducks (8-9-4), the first of three matchups between the clubs this season.
Colorado owns a 39-30-17 mark all-time against Anaheim (since 1995-96), with a 17-14-12 record on the road. Last season, the Avs took five out of a possible six points from the Ducks, logging a 2-0-1 record in three games. Gabriel Landeskog and Alexander Kerfoot both registered a goal and two assists, sharing the team lead with three points in those matchups.
The Avalanche's road trip will continue against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and the Arizona Coyotes on Friday before the squad returns to Pepsi Center for a division rival night against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Last Time Out
Colorado hosted the Washington Capitals on Friday and pushed the defending-Stanley Cup champions to an overtime frame. Carl Soderberg found the back of the net just 1:08 into the game to give the Avs a 1-0 lead. The Caps countered with two second-period goals as they took a 2-1 advantage into the third period. With 2:44 left in regulation, Colin Wilson tallied his fifth goal of the season to even the score at 2-2 and force overtime. The Caps took home the victory when Niklas Backstrom capitalized on the power play 22 seconds into extra time. Tyson Barrie extended his point streak (one goal, four points) to four games with a helper, as Matt Calvert reached the scoresheet for the third straight game with his fourth assist on the season. Tyson Jost and Ian Cole each added a helper and Colorado netminder Philipp Grubauer made 26 saves against his former team.
The Ducks took the Toronto Maple Leafs to overtime on Friday, falling 2-1 at Honda Center. Pontus Aberg scored his sixth goal of the season as John Gibson made 33 saves in net. The clash against Colorado will be the second in a four-game home stretch for Anaheim.
Last Time They Met
The Ducks prevailed in extra time against the Avs on April 1, 2018 at Honda Center. Av Alexander Kerfoot and Duck Andrew Cogliano each scored in the first period, tying the game at 1-1 after 20 minutes. Tyson Jost notched his first-career multi-goal game as he notched two markers in the second to help the Avs take a 3-1 lead. The Ducks got contributions from Adam Henrique and Ryan Kesler in the third period to force overtime before Ondrej Kase scored the game-winner. John Gibson made nine saves for Anaheim in the first period before he left the game due to injury.
What To Watch
On The Road Again
Through 11 contests away from Pepsi Center this season, the Avs own a 5-4-2 record. Mikko Rantanen has recorded 18 (four goals, 14 assists) of his league-leading 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists) on the road.
The Avalanche is second in the league in goals-per-game with an average of 3.53. Colorado has scored six or more goals on four occasions, tied with the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning for the most of any team in the NHL. Through 21 games played this season, the Ducks ranks 30th in the NHL with a 2.05 goals-per-game average.
Players To Watch
Colorado Defenseman Ian Cole
In his first season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Ian Cole leads the NHL with 60 blocked shots. The 29-year-old has registered seven points (one goal, six assists) for the Avs this season. His single-season best 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) was recorded during the 2016-17 campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anaheim Goaltender John Gibson
The 25-year-old shares the league lead among goaltenders with 17 starts for the Ducks. He has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of his 17 starts this season and his .928 save percentage ranks 11th in the NHL. Gibson's 988:07 of total ice time ranks third in the league among netminders.
After practice on Saturday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar noted that Philipp Grubauer will be between the pipes for Colorado. It will be the German netminder's second consecutive start and his seventh of the season.
Sunday's clash between the Avalanche and Ducks is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live locally on Altitude TV or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now app (in market) or 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.