The Colorado Avalanche returns to Denver on a seven-game winning streak to face the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
Colorado hasn't scored more than three goals in any game during the streak but has limited its opposition to two or fewer tallies. The Avs are coming off a 2-1 win in Detroit on Monday. Michael Hutchinson stopped 17 of 18 shots in his Avalanche debut, after the team acquired the goalie from the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline. Vladislav Namestnikov, also acquired at the deadline, tied the game with his first goal with Colorado before Logan O'Connor scored the eventual game-winner in the second period.
The Ducks, who the Avs beat 1-0 on Feb. 21, are coming off a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
The game, which is Colorado's Pride Night, is set to start at 7:30 p.m. MT at Pepsi Center and will be nationally televised. It is the third and final meeting between the Avalanche and Ducks this year.
Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks
Pepsi Center | Denver, Colo.
Avalanche left wing Matt Nieto was born in Long Beach… Andrew Agozzino spent parts of six seasons with the Avalanche organization (2012-2016, 2017-19) and recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in 21 NHL games… Anaheim forward Danton Heinen, who the Ducks acquired from the Boston Bruins on Feb. 24, played at the University of Denver from 2014-16… Anaheim assistant coach Rich Preston played at the University of Denver from 1970-74.
The Avalanche and Ducks last played on Feb. 21, as Pavel Francouz made all 26 saves in Anaheim to earn his first career shutout in a 1-0 win. J.T. Compher scored the winning goal, helping the Avs break a three-game skid against the Ducks. Anaheim won the year's first meeting 5-2 in Denver on Oct. 26.
Colorado holds a 41-33-17 record against the Ducks since 1995. Among current Avs, Gabriel Landeskog has the most points against Anaheim with 17 (seven goals, 10 assists) in 25 games, and MacKinnon has 15 (eight goals, seven assists) in 17 career contests.
Pavel Francouz is expected to be back in net on Wednesday, after Michael Hutchinson won in his Avalanche debut on Monday.
Cale Makar (upper-body) missed Monday's game. Head coach Jared Bednar said he's day-to-day… Andre Burakovsky has missed four of the last five games and is also day-to-day… Matt Calvert, Philipp Grubauer, and Nazem Kadri, all battling lower-body injuries, and Mikko Rantanen (upper body) are out but expected to be back by mid-March… Colin Wilson (lower body) continues to rehab and do off-ice training after two surgeries earlier this season.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
The Ducks (26-32-8) are in seventh place in the Pacific Division but finished the month of February at 6-4-3 before losing their first two games in March. The second period has featured the most scoring action on average in Ducks games this year. They've scored a team-high 62 goals in the middle frame but have also surrendered 77, the fifth-most in the NHL in that period. Anaheim is converting an average of 14.4 percent of its power-play chances while allowing opposing teams a 77.7 rate.
Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) and Adam Henrique is second with 39 (24 goals, 15 assists).
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Danton Heinen
Since arriving via trade on Feb. 24, Danton Heinen has recorded three points (two goals, one assist) in four games with the Ducks, including a goal in Tuesday's loss.
The former Bruin has 25 points total (nine goals, 16 assists) this season. The Langley, British Columbia, native has 106 points (36 goals, 70 assists) in 224 career NHL contests.
Michael Hutchinson on Monday became the fifth different goaltender to appear in a game for the Avs this year, the first time Colorado has used five different goalies in a season.
The Avalanche has allowed just nine goals during the current seven-game win streak, for a league-low average of 1.29 goals allowed per game since Feb. 19.
The Avs were the first Western Conference team to win 40 games this season. The squad is the fourth-fastest team in franchise history to do so (65th game).
Seven of the Avs' next eight games are against Pacific Division teams… Gabriel Landeskog is on a five-game point streak (two goals, three assists)… Pavel Francouz has won a career-high six consecutive starts, allowing two goals or fewer in each game for a .957 save percentage and 1.32 goals-against average... Wednesday will be the third and final meeting between Colorado and Anaheim. The Ducks won the first game 5-2 on Oct. 26 and the Avs won 1-0 on Feb. 21… The Avalanche leads all teams in road points (48) and wins (23) this year… With the win over the Red Wings, Colorado moved to 20-6-4 against Eastern Conference opponents, the best record of any Western Conference team.