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Avalanche Returns Home for Outing Against Toronto

Colorado is 3-0-0 in the last three meetings between the clubs

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Following a three-game road trip, the Colorado Avalanche (22-22-11) hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs (34-18-3) on Tuesday in the final meeting between the two clubs this season.

The Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise holds a 42-29-10 all-time record against Toronto, which includes a 20-12-5 mark at home. Colorado has been victorious in each of the past three matchups against Toronto.

This homestay is brief as the Avalanche will next head to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Thursday.

Last Time Out

In the second half of a back-to-back set, the Avs battled the Boston Bruins into overtime but ultimately fell 2-1. J.T. Compher and Gabriel Landeskog combined to assist on Nathan MacKinnon's goal late in the first period. Boston tied the clash in the second frame and a scoreless third stanza sent the game into extra time. Brad Marchand tallied on a redirected shot that went off a Colorado player's skate 4:03 into overtime to give the Bruins the victory. The Avs were perfect on the penalty kill, shutting down all five of Boston's power-play opportunities. The Avalanche outshot the Bruins 36-35, as goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves.

Toronto lost 4-1 to the New York Rangers on Sunday, ending a six-game point streak (5-0-1) for the Maple Leafs. Kasperi Kapanen lit the lamp for Toronto, and the Leafs peppered New York with 56 shots but no others found the back of the net. Maple Leafs netminder Garret Sparks turned aside 26-of-29 shots in the outing.

Last Time They Met

Carl Soderberg recorded his first career NHL hat trick as the Avs picked up a 6-3 victory over Toronto on Jan. 14 at Scotiabank Arena. After a scoreless first period, Igor Ozhiganov and Kapanen tallied for the Maple Leafs in the first 3:28 of the second stanza. Landeskog quickly answered for Colorado, followed by goals from Mikko Rantanen and Soderberg, whose short-handed tally marked the final score in the middle frame. While Mitchell Marner lit the lamp for the Leafs in the third period, two more markers from Soderberg and a goal from Matt Calvert sealed the win for the Avalanche. Colorado outshot Toronto 38-20 as Varlamov stopped 17 shots. Leafs goalie Frederick Andersen made 32-of-36 saves in his return to action after an eight-game absence due to a groin injury and the flu.

What To Watch 

Facing Opposition

Rantanen (18 goals, 42 assists; 60 points) and MacKinnon (23 goals, 36 assists; 59 points) stand second and third in the league, respectively, for points scored against non-Central Division opponents this year. Landeskog (24 goals, 25 assists; 49 points) is not far behind, landing tied for eighth in the category. The Avs are 13-8-5 against the Eastern Conference this season, with a 6-3-1 mark at home. Colorado's matchup against Toronto wraps up a stretch of five consecutive games against Eastern clubs.

PK Spree 

The Avalanche went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in its previous contest against the Bruins and has successfully shut down 14 of its opponents' 18 power-play opportunities in the month of February (77.8 percent). In addition, the Avs are tied for third in the NHL with seven total short-handed goals this season.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Left Wing J.T. Compher

Compher has registered points in back-to-back games (one goal, one assist) to bring his season total to 22 (11 goals, 11 assists). The forward is one point shy of matching his career high of 23 points from the 2017-18 campaign. His two short-handed goals this season are tied for the team lead, and his average ice time of 16:49 is fourth among Avalanche forwards.

Toronto: Center John Tavares

Tavares is second on the Leafs in scoring, having notched 60 points (33 goals, 27 assists) in 55 games this year. The veteran forward has played in 15 career contests against Colorado, producing seven points (three goals, four assists) in that time. Tavares scored the overtime game-winning goal in the club's matchup at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, his sixth game-winner of the 2018-19 campaign. Tavares has surpassed the 30-goal mark for the fifth time in his career and notched his 300th tally on Jan. 10. Tuesday will mark his 725th career NHL contest.

The Details

Tuesday's matchup between the Avalanche and Maple Leafs is slated for 7 p.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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