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Avalanche Road Trip Wraps Up in Tampa Bay

Colorado plays its second and final contest in the Sunshine State against league-leading Lightning

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Fresh off a 5-2 victory in South Florida, the Colorado Avalanche (17-7-5) travels across the state to battle the Tampa Bay Lightning (22-7-1) at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

The Avalanche holds a 17-12-5 all-time mark against the Lightning (since 1995-96) and has a 7-7-2 record while on the road against the Bolts. This is the second and last time the two teams will meet this season.

The clash is the last of four in a row that Colorado has played on the road in the past eight days. Following the outing, the team will head back to Denver to take on the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Last Time Out

J.T. Compher netted the tie-breaking goal in the third period, and Carl Soderberg and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist as the Avs beat the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Thursday. Mikko Rantanen found the back of the net for the 12th time this season to open the scoring in the first period before Colorado and Florida traded markers for the first two periods of play. Compher's tally in the third was the first of three unanswered from the Avalanche and was followed up by Matt Nieto's insurance goal and Gabriel Landeskog's empty-netter. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer earned his seventh win this season, stopping 33-of-35 shots along the way.

Tampa Bay won its fifth straight contest on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Brayden Point notched his 21st goal of the year in the first stanza and was joined on the scoreboard by teammates Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli. Cirelli's second career short-handed tally came 4:03 into the third period and ended up as the game-winner. Tampa netminder Louis Domingue made 33 saves in the win.

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche fell 1-0 to the Lightning at Pepsi Center on Oct. 24 in the clubs' first meeting of the season. The contest was scoreless through the third period, but Tampa capitalized on a power play as Nikita Kucherov netted the sole goal of the event. Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves, while the Avs won 53 percent of the faceoffs and blocked more shots (18-8).

What To Watch

Road Warriors

Colorado is 11-5-2 on the road and leads the NHL in both road points (24) and goals scored while away from Pepsi Center (70). With a 33.3-percent success rate with a man advantage on the road, the Avalanche ranks third in the league for the category. Mikko Rantanen (31), Nathan MacKinnon (28) and Gabriel Landeskog (23) rank first, second and third (tied), respectively, for points on the road after 18 games, the only trio of teammates to rank in the top three for a point-related category.

Mikko Moments

Rantanen bested his previous career-high point streak (nine games, Oct. 4-22) by marking the scoresheet for the 10th game in a row on Thursday. He has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in the stretch and joins Nathan MacKinnon (2013-14, 2017-18) and Tyson Barrie (2017-18) as the only Avalanche player to produce in 10 consecutive games since 2007-08. The Finnish forward's 47 points (12 goals, 35 assists) continues to reign first in the league.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Center Carl Soderberg

Soderberg's two-point performance on Thursday marked his fourth multi-point showing of the campaign and the 43rd of his career. The forward has registered at least a point in 17 games this season and holds a total of 21 (10 goals, 11 assists) over 29 games this year. He currently stands tied for fourth on the team in both power-play points (8) and total scoring. In 15 career games against the Lightning, Soderberg has recorded two goals and three assists.

Tampa Bay: Center Brayden Point

In addition to leading the league with 21 goals, Point is third in the Eastern Conference in scoring and second on the Lightning with 38 points (21 goals, 17 assists) over 30 games. Thirteen of those points have come on the power play, and his nine man-advantage goals are tied for second in the NHL. The forward has generated two goals and one assist in five career games against Colorado.

Lineup Notes

Semyon Varlamov will be the starting netminder for Colorado. He played the first two games of the road trip, registering a win in Detroit and a loss in Pittsburgh. For the season, Varlamov has a 10-6-3 record, 2.43 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

The Details

Saturday's matchup between the Avalanche and Lightning is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live 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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