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Avalanche Road Trip Continues in Toronto

It is the first of two times the clubs will meet this season

by Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche plays the penultimate contest of its season-long, five-game road trip on Monday night in Toronto. The Maple Leafs enter Monday's game sitting in second place in the Atlantic Division, while the Avs are in fourth in the Central.

This is the first of two games between the clubs this season and Colorado's only trip to Toronto, as the Leafs will visit the Mile High City in February. The Avs won both matchups last year, sweeping a season series of at least two games from the Leafs for the first time since the team moved to Denver in 1995.

Last Time Out

The Avs fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Saturday night at Bell Centre, just the second time this season Colorado has been shut out and the first time the club has been held scoreless on the road this year. Semyon Varlamov finished with 28 saves. Colorado was scoreless on four power-play opportunities while holding Montreal without a goal on three chances with the man advantage.

Toronto dropped a one-goal contest to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, losing 3-2 at Scotiabank Arena. Andreas Johnsson and Mitchell Marner scored for the Leafs, who led 2-1 midway through the second period. Toronto was 1-for-2 with the man advantage, and Michael Hutchinson made 26 saves.

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche defeated the Maple Leafs 4-2 on Jan. 22, 2018 in Toronto, earning their 10th straight victory for the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. Four different players accounted for each of Colorado's goals and 10 different players recorded a point in the contest. The Avs held Toronto scoreless on three chances with the man advantage.

What to Watch

Power-Play Strength

Despite going scoreless in Colorado's last two outings, the Avs' power-play unit is still ranked sixth in the NHL (43-for-170, 25.3 percent) and is 24-for-89 (27.0 percent) on the road, the fourth-ranked road power play in the league. Nathan MacKinnon (24 points) and Mikko Rantanen (23) are ranked third and tied for fourth (tied), respectively, in man-advantage points. Rantanen's 10 power-play goals are tied for fourth in the NHL and Gabriel Landeskog's nine tallies with the extra man is tied for seventh.

Getting Offensive

Monday's matchup features two of the NHL's top offensive teams, as the Maple Leafs rank fifth with 158 goals this season, and the Avalanche are tied for seventh with 151 goals. Colorado is also second in the league with 63 third-period goals in 2018-19, trailing only Calgary (72). Mikko Rantanen leads all players with 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in the third period, while Nathan MacKinnon (10 goals, 15 assists) and Gabriel Landeskog (17 goals, eight assists) are tied for second.

Player to Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson

Johnson had a season-long, three-game point streak snapped against the Canadiens on Saturday but has notched three points (one goal, two assists) over the Avs' last four contests. He has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 10 career outings against the Maple Leafs, tied for fifth (Nathan MacKinnon, Alex Tanguay) in points against the Leafs in Avalanche history (since 1995-96).

Toronto: Right Wing Mitchell Marner

Marner is Toronto's leader in assists (41) and points (58) and became the first player in Maple Leafs history to begin his career with 40 or more assists in three consecutive campaigns. He has three points (two goals, one asissts) over the club's last two contests and leads the team with 15 points on the power play (three goals, 12 assists).

The Details

Monday night's contest between the Avalanche and the Maple Leafs begins at 5 p.m. MT and can be watched live on Altitude TV. The radio broadcast will be carried on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM.

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