The Colorado Avalanche (7-5-0) starts its road trip with a contest against the Philadelphia Flyers (7-6-1) on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center. The clubs will meet twice this year, with the second meeting scheduled to take place at Pepsi Center on March 28.
The Avalanche is 16-9-6 all-time against the Flyers (since 1995-96), and seven of those wins transpired in Philadelphia. The Flyers were victorious in both outings when the teams met twice last year.
The matchup is the first of a back-to-back set for the Avs, their third of the season. It also starts a 10-day trip that includes two contests in Stockholm, Sweden, against the Ottawa Senators as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series.
Last Time Out
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made career-high 57 saves in the Avalanche's 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth netted his first career NHL goal, and forwards Carl Soderberg, Blake Comeau, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen also found the back of the net. Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in the contest while A.J. Greer registered his first point of the season with a helper on Nemeth's marker.
The Flyers shutout the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on Thursday in the second half of a back-to-back set. Netminder Michal Neuvirth made 33 saves to earn his 11th career NHL shutout. Defenseman Brandon Manning scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the second period and forward Claude Giroux sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the third. Giroux also picked up a helper on Manning's tally, while center Sean Couturier assisted on both markers.
Last Time They Met
The Flyers shutout the Avalanche 4-0 when the teams last met on Feb. 28 at Wells Fargo Center. Wayne Simmonds scored twice and Giroux had two assists. Jordan Weal and Jakub Voracek also tallied for Philadelphia. Jeremy Smith was in the crease for the Avalanche and made 22 saves.
What to Watch
Taking Home Success on the Road
So far this season, Colorado has played six games at home (5-1-0) and six games on the road (2-4-0). The Avs have scored 28 goals at home compared to the 11 on the road. They have also only allowed one power-play goal at Pepsi Center and are 17-for-18 on the penalty kill in the Mile High City. The Avalanche will look to take the success that it has found on home ice into Philadelphia.
Flyers Against The Central
Philadelphia lost 3-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday to start a seven-game stretch against Central Division opponents. During this 14-day period, the Flyers will face the Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild twice and will play the St. Louis Blues, the Winnipeg Jets and the Avalanche each once. Last season the Flyers were 8-5-1 against the Central.
Player To Watch
Colorado: Center Nathan MacKinnon
The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native is tied for second on the Avalanche in scoring with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and five of those points have come in the last two games. He registered two helpers in the Avs' 5-3 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday and found the back of the net twice and picked up an assist in Colorado's 6-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on last Saturday.
Philadelphia: Defenseman Ivan Provorov
In the Flyers' last outing, the 20-year-old blueliner tied a franchise record with 10 blocked shots. He also surpassed 27 minutes played in the game for the fourth consecutive contest and was credited with five hits. In 14 games so far this campaign, he has registered eight points (two goals, six assists).
The matchup between the Avalanche and the Flyers is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT on Saturday. The game will be televised on Altitude 2 and the radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.