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Avalanche Wraps Up Homestand Against Rangers

It's the second and final meeting of the season between cross-conference foes

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

In the final outing of a four-game set at home, the Colorado Avalanche (19-14-8) hosts the New York Rangers (17-15-7) on Friday at Pepsi Center.

Colorado has a 20-13-2 all-time record against the Rangers (since 1995-96), which includes a 9-7-0 mark at home. The Avs swept the two-game series in 2017-18.

Following the contest, the Avalanche begins a five-game road trip across Canada that starts on Tuesday in Winnipeg against the Jets.

Last Time Out

Despite scoring three unanswered goals to finish the match, Colorado fell 5-4 to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Tyson Jost tallied twice for his second career multi-goal performance, with one coming at even strength and the other on the power play. Alexander Kerfoot also posted a two-point performance (two assists), while Matt Calvert and Tyson Barrie produced the other markers for the club. The Avalanche outshot the Sharks 35-27, and goalie Pavel Francouz made 12-of-13 saves while coming in relief for Colorado. It was the Czech Olympian's second NHL appearance.

The Rangers lost 7-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Seven different Penguins players found the back of the net while Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich tallied for New York. The Rangers outshot Pittsburgh 30-25 and won 57 percent of their faceoffs as New York goalie Alexandar Georgiev made six saves in a relief appearance for Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 11 shots.

Last Time They Met

After trading goals throughout the match, Colorado battled the Rangers into a shootout on Oct. 16 at Madison Square Garden but ultimately ended up falling 3-2. Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes tallied for New York and both goals were assisted by Kevin Shattenkirk and Mats Zuccarello. Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon lit the lamp for the Avalanche, while linemate Mikko Rantanen sent one puck past Lundqvist in the shootout. The Avs out-blocked the Blueshirts 23-17, while Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 41-of-43 pucks through overtime.

What To Watch

Very Barrie

After registering a goal in Wednesday's outing against San Jose, Barrie's career point total is now at 275 (66 goals, 209 assists). He is tied with John-Michael Liles for the most career points by a franchise defenseman. With two more tallies, he will match Liles' second-place standing in all-time markers by a Colorado blueliner (68). Sandis Ozolinsh holds the franchise record with 72 goals. 

Third's The Charm

Wednesday's game saw two more third-period tallies by the Avalanche, bringing its season total to 58 markers scored in the final frame. The club stands second in the NHL for the category behind Calgary (62). In addition, the Avalanche has score 138 total goals this campaign, ranking sixth in the league.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog

Landeskog has recorded 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) in 41 games this season. He is tied for first in the league for game-winning tallies (seven) and shares fifth place in the NHL in overall markers. One member of the Avs' top line of Landeskog, MacKinnon and Rantanen has factored on 60 percent of Colorado's scoring this season (83 of 138 goals). MacKinnon and Rantanen have both secured spots in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, but there is still time to get Gabe in by voting for the Colorado captain in the league's Last Men In ballot. People can vote up to 10 times a day through next Thursday.

New York Rangers: Left Wing Chris Kreider

Kreider paces the Rangers in goals, having scored 20 so far this season. His 31 points (20 goals, 11 assists) lands him third on the team, and Kreider's seven power-play goals are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference. Over 420 career games with the Rangers, the forward has registered 250 points (125 goals, 125 assists).

The Details

Friday's matchup between the Avalanche and Rangers is slated for 7 p.m. MT. The contest can be watched live locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now app (in market) and is also tonight's NHL.tv Free Game (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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