The Colorado Avalanche heads to Vegas to take on the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Monday in the final game before the NHL's annual Holiday Break.
Colorado is on the road after playing a two-game homestand, falling 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and 5-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. The Avs are 12-6-1 away from Pepsi Center this season, putting the club in a tie for third most wins on the road so far, only behind the Washington Capitals (16) and Arizona Coyotes (13).
The Golden Knights are coming off of a 3-1 victory over the Pacific Division rival San Jose Sharks on Sunday. The club scored twice in the third period and goaltender Malcolm Subban made 37 saves to get the two points on the road. Vegas will conclude its seventh back-to-back of the year in the outing, which is the second of a three-game season series between the two teams.
The Avalanche and Golden Knights meet for the third and final time this year at Pepsi Center on March 15.
Avalanche at Vegas Golden Knights
T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, Nev.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare played the last two seasons with the Golden Knights after they selected him in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft… Paul Stastny was drafted by Colorado in 2005 (No. 44 overall). He played his first eight NHL seasons with the Avalanche from 2006-2014 and ranks ninth in franchise history with 458 points (160g/298a)… Nick Holden played three seasons with Colorado from 2013-2016.
The Avalanche owns a 4-3-0 mark against the Golden Knights since the Vegas team's inaugural season in 2017-18. Colorado is 1-0-0 against Vegas this year after defeating the club 6-1 on Oct. 25. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare recorded a goal and two assists in the matchup against his former team, while Matt Calvert and Nazem Kadri tallied two goals each to lead Colorado to a win. Cale Makar also found the back of the net for his first regular-season NHL goal. After Vegas tied it 1-1 in the first period, the Avs scored five unanswered goals to win the game.
Cale Makar (upper body) is traveling with the team to Las Vegas and there is a possibility that the rookie defenseman returns to action on Monday.
Makar participated in the team's morning skate on Saturday in a red, non-contact jersey and has missed seven games with an upper-body injury… Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Vegas is 20-13-6 this season, including a 10-6-3 mark as the home team. The Golden Knights are 5-1-0 in the second half of back-to-backs this year as they conclude their seventh such set versus the Avs on Monday. The club is second in league with an average of 34.1 shots per game and is seventh in the NHL with an 83.5 penalty kill percentage. Vegas has a plus-8 goal differential, good for second in the Pacific Division.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty is the Golden Knights' leading point-getter after registering 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 39 games this season. He leads Vegas with .92 points per game, 155 shots and 12 power-play points (four goals, eight assists). Of his 15 goals, a team-high 11 have come at even-strength.
Pacioretty was selected in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2007 draft by the Montreal Canadiens and spent his first 10 NHL seasons with the club. He was traded to the Golden Knights before the 2018-19 season and has notched 76 points (37 goals, 39 assists) through 105 games with Vegas. Currently playing his 12th NHL season, Pacioretty has played in 731 NHL games and tallied 524 points (263 goals, 261 assists) since his league debut in 2008.
Pavel Francouz has earned a .934 save percentage this season, the second highest in the league behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' Tristan Jarry (.939). Francouz also owns a 2.16 goals-against average, which is also second in the NHL.
Nathan MacKinnon was named the NHL All-Star Game Central Division captain for the second year in a row, making him the only Avalanche player to be chosen as captain twice. He is one of only two players in franchise history to earn a captain's title in the All-Star Game after Joe Sakic led the Western Conference team at the 2007 event. MacKinnon is also the first player to be selected in four consecutive seasons after Peter Forsberg was selected to six games from 1995-96 through 2000-01.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will likely play his 600th NHL game on Monday in Vegas. Landeskog was named the Avs captain in 2012 and was the youngest captain in the NHL at 19 years and 286 days, a title he held for four years. Now in his eighth season as the leader of the squad, he has tallied 429 points (184 goals, 245 assists) in 599 career contests.
Ryan Graves is tied for the league lead with a plus-24 rating… Ian Cole has a plus-18 rating to rank tied for sixth in the league, making the Avs one of four teams with two players in the top 10… Nathan MacKinnon is averaging 1.47 points-per-game, which is third in the league… The Avalanche is the only team in the NHL that has not participated in a shootout this season… Colorado and Vegas will conclude the season-series on March 15 at Pepsi Center.