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Avs Complete Back-to-Back Against Penguins

The Avalanche returns home to host Pittsburgh in its fourth game in six days

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche (14-6-4) faces the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-8-5) on Wednesday to complete a back-to-back set. Colorado played its previous game in Nashville which marked the end of the 2018 Avalanche Dad/Mentor Trip.

The Avs hold a 19-8-6 all-time record against Pittsburgh (since 1995-96), which includes an 8-4-4 mark at home. Colorado went 2-0-0 against the Pens during the 2017-18 season.

Following the game, the Avalanche will have a day to rest before completing its two-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center on Friday.

Last Time Out

As a cherry on top of an exciting dad/mentor trip, the Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday. Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals--one in each of the first two periods--to help his team to a 2-2 tie entering into the third frame. The Avs continued to perform under pressure as Tyson Jost netted Colorado's second power-play tally of the game, his fourth marker of the season. Semyon Varlamov made 36-of-38 saves in net, earning his eighth win of the year.

Four different Penguins teammates found the back of the net in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Sidney Crosby, Riley Sheahan, Derek Grant and Zach Aston-Reese all sent pucks past the Jets in the win while Pittsburgh outshot Winnipeg 30-27. Goalie Casey DeSmith made 24-of-27 saves in net.

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche beat the Penguins 4-2 on Dec. 18, 2017 in the last match the two teams played against one another. Tyson Barrie netted two goals and J.T. Compher and Mikko Rantanen each scored as well. Rantanen also had a multi-point night after contributing an assist on Barrie's second tally. Sven Andrighetto registered two helpers on the night while the Avalanche nullified three penalties and outshot the Penguins 37-32. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves in goal.

What To Watch

Powered Up

The Avalanche leads the league with a 32.1-percent success rate on the power play after scoring 26 tallies with the man-advantage in 24 games. On Tuesday, the Colorado squad went 2-for-2 on the power play, marking the third time this season the team has been perfect with the extra attacker.

Avs Steaking

Tuesday's win marked the fifth straight victory for Colorado, which has posted a 7-0-1 record in its past eight outings. In addition, both Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon have notched multiple points in the past five games. The two forwards stand first and second in the league for total points scored and Rantanen's 40 (10 goals, 30 assists) marks the most ever by an Avalanche player through the first 24 games of a season. J.T. Compher has also notched at least a point in the past three games, the first clashes he's seen since being sidelined with injury. The three-game point streak matches a career high for the sophomore forward (Oct. 7-11, 2017).

Players To Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson

Johnson has seven career-points (two goals, five assists) in 11 total games against the Penguins. His eight points (one goal, seven assists) on the season ranks third amongst Avalanche defensemen and the next assist he registers will be his 200th. Johnson has played 661 games in the NHL, racking up 270 points (71 goals, 199 assists) in that time.

Pittsburgh: Center Evgeni Malkin

Although his seven-game point streak ended on Tuesday, Malkin has 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) so far on the season, ranking him at eighth in NHL for all point producers. Last season, Malkin generated two points (two assists) in two games against the Avalanche.

The Details

Wednesday's clash between the Avalanche and Penguins is slated for 7:30 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live on NBCSN or streamed on select devices. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalache.com.

The Avalanche will hold its Do All You Can food drive prior to the game. Fan are encouraged to bring non-perishable food and cash donations with them. The collection will be held at every entrance.

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