The Colorado Avalanche returns home to host the Nashville Predators on Friday night, the fourth and final matchup between the Avs and the Central Division leaders.
Colorado is 0-2-1 against Nashville this season, falling in overtime in the last meeting on March 4 and is 18-16-5 all-time against the Predators at Pepsi Center.
The Avs have four remaining regular-season games against division opponents and have gained points in nine consecutive games (6-0-3), their second-longest streak of the season (10-0-0, Dec. 29-Jan. 22).
Last Time Out
After falling in five straight contests at Scottrade Center, the Avalanche earned a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Mikko Rantanen had four points (two goals, two assists) for the third time this season to match a career high, and Nathan MacKinnon added three points (two goals, one assist). Colorado didn't convert on its lone power-play opportunity of the night, ending its run of eight consecutive games with a man-advantage tally.
Nashville pushed its point streak to 13 games with a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. The Predators trailed 2-1 after the second period, but scored twice early in the third frame to secure the win. Kyle Turris factored into each of Nashville's goals, finishing with a goal and two assists. Kevin Fiala added two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning tally.
Video: Previewing Avalanche vs. Predators
Last Time They Met
The Avalanche lost the last meeting 4-3 in overtime at Pepsi Center on March 4. Despite scoring the first goal of the game, Colorado trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Matt Nieto scored early in the final frame, and Mikko Rantanen scored the go-ahead goal late in the period, but Ryan Ellis' equalizer with just over a minute remaining in regulation forced the extra stanza. Filip Forsberg beat goaltender Semyon Varlamov 1:07 into overtime to give Nashville the win.
What to Watch
Both teams enter Friday's contest having played the night before, Colorado winning at St. Louis, and Nashville topping Arizona in the desert. This is the 10th of 11 sets of two games in two nights for the Avalanche, who are 3-6-0 in the second contest of such sets in 2017-18.
Different Ways to Get It Done
In Tuesday night's 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, Colorado's rookies stood in the spotlight, as J.T. Compher finished with two tallies, and Tyson Jost (one goal) and Samuel Girard (one assist) each added a point. On Thursday, it was Colorado's top line of Gabriel Landeskog (three assists), Nathan MacKinnon (two goals, one assist), and Mikko Rantanen (two goals, two assists) firing on all cylinders and combining for 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the win. The Avs' defenseman have been contributors offensively as well, as Tyson Barrie extended his point streak to a career-long eight games on Thursday, and Nikita Zadorov notched his seventh of the season against the Wild, with three of those tallies coming in Colorado's last eight outings.
Nathan MacKinnon enters Friday's contest on a 10-game point streak, the second-longest of his career since registering a point in 13 straight games during his rookie campaign in 2013-14. Defenseman Tyson Barrie extended his point streak to a career-long eight games with an assist on Thursday and has four goals and seven assists in that span.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Right Wing Mikko Rantanen
Rantanen now has 74 points this season, which ranks 15th in the NHL. His 29 points on the power play are a team high and rank ninth among league skaters. He enters Friday's contest on a four-game point streak (three goals, seven assists), and his 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) since Feb. 10 are tied for second in the league in scoring over that span.
Nashville: Defenseman Roman Josi
Josi missed the last matchup between the teams in Denver but has registered four points (one goal, three assists) in the two contests he skated in against Colorado. The Preds captain has points (four goals, eight assists) in eight straight games against the Avs, including four multi-point contests.
Friday night's game begins at 7 p.m. at Pepsi Center, and tickets are still available. The game can be watched live on Altitude TV, and the radio broadcast is on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 or online at Colorado Avalanche.com.
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