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Avalanche Faces Islanders in Matinee

Colorado continues East Coast road trip in Brooklyn

by Dan Vatch / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The second contest of a three-game road trip for the Colorado Avalanche (22-22-9) matches the club against the New York Islanders (31-16-6) in the first game of a back-to-back set for Colorado. The 11 a.m. MT contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the second and final time the teams will compete against each other in the 2018-19 regular season.

It is the Avs' sixth of 13 afternoon contests (5 p.m. local start time or earlier) they will play in the 2018-19 season and the first of two in as many days. Colorado caps its East Coast trip with a 1 p.m. MT clash at the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

The Avalanche holds a 17-13-3 mark against New York since 1995-96 and a 5-10-0 record in contests on the road. Nathan MacKinnon paces the team with 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 11 career games versus the Islanders.

Last Time Out

The Avs fell 4-3 in overtime to the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Capital One Arena. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Colin Wilson each netted a goal, and Gabriel Landeskog added two helpers in his 17th multi-point game of the season. Tyson Barrie, Matt Calvert and Samuel Girard each added an assist as well, and Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 38 shots, tied for the second-most saves in a game for him this season. The Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the OT-winner with 48 seconds left in the extra frame.

New York defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in a shootout at Prudential Center on Thursday. Matthew Barzal scored his team-leading 48th point (16 goals, 32 assists) with a goal on assists from Ryan Pulock and Brock Nelson. Josh Bailey notched the shootout-winner in the fourth round of the tiebreaker, while Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss made 30 saves through overtime for his 15th win of the season.

Last Time They Met

The Islanders took home a 4-1 victory against the Avs on Dec. 17 at Pepsi Center. Gabriel Landeskog reached the back of the net for Colorado with assists from Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon, while Jordan Eberle, Johnny Boychuk, Anders Lee and Valteri Filppula netted markers for New York. Semyon Varlamov stopped 17 shots between the pipes for the Avs, and Thomas Greiss made 30 stops for the Islanders.

What To Watch

Ice, Ice (Time) Baby

Averaging 22:00 of time on ice this season, Nathan MacKinnon leads all Avalanche skaters and ranks seventh in the league among forwards in the category. The 23-year-old is on pace to set a new career high for average ice time, besting his previous of 19:57 set in 2016-17. He has played at least 21 minutes in four of the last five games and skated 23:29 in Colorado's last outing on Thursday at Washington.

Conference Call

In 24 games against Eastern Conference opponents this season, Colorado has earned 29 points (12-8-3) which ranks third-most among Western Conference teams during the 2018-19 campaign. In those contests, the Avs have averaged 3.38 goals per game.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog

With two points against Washington, the Colorado captain now has 397 career points (172 goals, 225 assists) in 559 games, all as a member of the Avalanche. With three more points, the Stockholm, Sweden, native would become the 12th skater to reach the 400-point mark in franchise history. Nikita Kucherov (415) of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the only member of Landeskog's 2011 draft class to reach 400 points so far. This season, Landeskog has tallied a career-best and team-high 29 goals.

New York: Center Brock Nelson

The Warroad, Minnesota, native brings a three-game point streak (one goals, two assists) into Saturday's matchup against the Avalanche. Nelson's 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) rank fourth on the club and are just 11 points behind his career best of 45 (20 goals, 25 assists) he recorded during the 2016-17 campaign. Nelson has an assist in each of his last two games against the Avs.

View: Avalanche at Islanders Projected Lineup

The Details

Saturday's clash between the Avalanche and Islanders is scheduled for 11 a.m. MT. The game can be watched locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the AltitudeNOW 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.

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