The Colorado Avalanche wraps up a five-game homestand against the New York Islanders at Pepsi Center on Wednesday. The homestay was tied for a longest of the season for Colorado and included the 2020 NHL Stadium Series game at the Air Force Academy.
The Avs are heading into this game after a 4-3 loss in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. Valeri Nichushkin tied the game at 3-3 with less than eight minutes remaining in the third period to send the contest past regulation, but Tampa Bay scored the game-winner in the extra period. Mikko Rantanen extended his point streak to four games before leaving the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.
The Islanders fell 2-1 to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Anthony Beauvillier scored the only New York goal in the third period but the club couldn't score the tying goal to force overtime. New York is 0-3-0 on its current road trip that will conclude against the Avs.
Wednesday's 8 p.m. MT puck drop will mark the second and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Islanders defeated the Avalanche 1-0 on Jan. 6.
Avalanche vs. New York Islanders
Pepsi Center | Denver, Colo.
COLORADO-NEW YORK CONNECTIONS
Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov played eight seasons with the Avalanche (2011-2019). He posted a 183-156-38 record with a 2.72 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and 21 shutouts in 389 games with Colorado, trailing only Patrick Roy on the franchise's all-time lists in wins, games, shutouts and save percentage… Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk was drafted by Colorado (No. 61 overall) in 2002 and began his NHL career with the Avs... New York forward Derick Brassard finished the 2018-19 season with the Avs… Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield played two seasons at the University of Denver (2011-13).
Colorado owns a 17-14-4 mark against the Islanders since moving to Denver in 1995, including a 12-3-3 record as the home team. The two teams met earlier this season in New York, the first time the Avs had played at the Nassau Memorial Colosseum since Nov. 11, 2014. In a very close game, the Islanders scored the only goal seven minutes into the third period and dealt the Avalanche its second shutout loss of the season.
Forward Martin Kaut was recalled from the Colorado Eagles on Tuesday and is expected to make his NHL debut on Wednesday… Head coach Jared Bednar said after practice on Tuesday that Kaut is likely to start the game on a line with Matt Nieto and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare… Bednar stated on Tuesday that Andre Burakovsky will play on the top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.
Mikko Ranatanen will be out for a few weeks with an upper-body injury suffered in the second period of Monday's game… Philipp Grubauer is being evaluated on a day-to-day basis but is expected to miss some time with a lower-body injury… Matt Calvert will be out for a few weeks with a lower-body ailment… Nazem Kadri is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury… Head coach Jared Bednar said Colin Wilson (lower body) is making great progress in his rehabilitation after undergoing two surgeries earlier this season, but he did not have a timeline for the forwards return.
SCOUTING THE ISLANDERS
New York has earned a 33-19-6 record this season and 72 points to sit in the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders are tied for ninth place in the league, one point behind the seventh-ranked (tied) Avalanche. New York averages 2.83 goals per game and scores on 18.2 percent of their power play opportunities.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Brock Nelson
Brock Nelson ranks second on the Islanders after registering 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists). His 21 goals lead New York and his 0.78 points per game rank third. He is tied for the team lead with 39 even-strength points (17 goals, 22 assists) and four power-play goals.
Nelson was selected in the first round (No. 30 overall) of the 2010 draft by the Islanders and made his NHL debut in the 2013-14 campaign. Since then, he has recorded 286 points (145 goals, 141 assists) in 538 career outings.
Martin Kaut is set to make his NHL debut on Wednesday against the Islanders. Kaut was selected in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Avs and has notched 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in his two seasons with the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles.
The Avs have three players in the plus-minus rating top 10, the second most behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ryan Graves leads the league at plus-41, while Ian Cole (plus-28) and Valeri Nichushkin (plus-26) rank seventh and eighth (tied), respectively.
After his two-point night on Monday, Nathan MacKinnon has now registered 82 points (33 goals, 49 assists) and is tied for second in scoring in the league.
The Avs are averaging the most goals per game (tied) in the league, scoring 3.55 times a contest… Nathan MacKinnon's 270 shots tie him for second in the league… The Avalanche is tied for the league lead in first-period goals (64) and also ranks first in second-period tallies (82)… Colorado concludes its five-game homestand tonight… The Avs are 1-2-1 in the first four games of the homestay and 10-5-3 so far in 2020… Colorado is 16-6-4 against Eastern Conference opponents, the best record of any Western Conference team against the East.