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Avs Return Home to Face Red Wings

Colorado has one game at Pepsi Center before going back on the road

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Returning from a two-game trip to California, the Colorado Avalanche (28-26-12) is back in Denver to take on the Detroit Red Wings (23-33-9) on Tuesday night.

The outing will mark the 125th all-time matchup between the two franchises. The Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques hold a 53-61-10 record against Detroit, which includes a 27-27-8 mark on home ice. The Avalanche have won the past three games against the Red Wings.

Following the contest, the Avs will head to Dallas for a Thursday-night matchup against the division-rival Stars before beginning a four-game homestand.

Last Time Out

The Avalanche dropped its most recent outing, 2-1, at the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. The game saw one goal per period, with the first two coming from the Ducks. On a power play in the third stanza, Carl Soderberg and J.T. Compher registered assists as Derick Brassard lit the lamp for the second time since joining Colorado at the trade deadline on Feb. 25. The Avs outshot Anaheim 26-23, while goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 21-of-23 saves.

The Red Wings fell 3-1 at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Dylan Larkin found the back of the net for Detroit, which has lost seven contests in a row (0-5-2). The tally came on the Wings' only power-play opportunity of the game and was assisted by Niklas Kronwall and Anthony Mantha. The Red Wings shutdown all three of Arizona's power plays as netminder Jimmy Howard stopped 41 shots overall in the loss.

Last Time They Met

Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves as the Avalanche beat Detroit in a 2-0 shutout at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 2. It was the third game in a row that Colorado has won against the Red Wings after sweeping the 2017-18 series (2-0-0). The Avs' line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen factored on both tallies in the outing, with MacKinnon notching the first marker on a power play in the second frame and Landeskog tallying into an empty net in the final minute of play. The Avalanche held Detroit scoreless on two power-play opportunities and outshot its opponents 29-24.

What To Watch

Milestone Watch

A few members of the Avalanche are close to reaching milestones in their careers. With 24 points and 14 assists this season, Matt Calvert is one point away from reaching a career high and one assist shy from matching his previous best for helpers in a single season (15; 2013-14, 2017-18). In addition, newly-acquired forward Brassard is one point away from 450 in his NHL career. Rantanen needs just one more one goal and one more assist to match his most for a season in both categories (29 goals, 55 assists; 2017-18), and he is two points away from tying his career-high 84 points from last year.

Ready, Aim, Fire!

Nathan MacKinnon leads the NHL with 286 shots and set a new career high for a season after posting two in Sunday's game at the Anaheim Ducks. The center's 286 shots are the most by a Colorado player since Joe Sakic recorded 332 in 2000-01, and only two Avalanche players have surpassed 300 shots in a season since the team moved to Denver in 1995: Sakic twice (339 in 1995-96 and 332 in 2000-01) and Claude Lemieux (315 in 1995-96). MacKinnon has recorded at least one shot in 135 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak behind the Carolina Hurricanes' Dougie Hamilton (230).

Players To Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson

In 34 career games against the Red Wings, Johnson has recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists), second-most on Colorado's active roster behind Derick Brassard (10 goals, 11 assists). Johnson leads the Avs in ice time, averaging 21:57 per game, and is third among club defensemen in scoring with 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 64 outings this season. The Bloomington, Minnesota, native played in his 700th career NHL contest on Friday at the San Jose Sharks and has recorded 281 points (75 goals, 206 assists) over his 701-game career.

Detroit: Center Dylan Larkin

Larkin leads the Red Wings with 62 points this season (27 goals, 35 assists). He has notched seven points (three goals, four assists) over the past five outings, including a three-point performance on Feb. 20 versus the Chicago Blackhawks. The forward is a former teammate of the Avs' J.T. Compher from the University of Michigan (2014-15) and has produced four points (one goal, three assists) in seven career outings against Colorado.

The Details

Tuesday's matchup between the Avalanche and Red Wings is slated for 7 p.m. MT at Pepsi Center. The game can be watched locally on Altitude and 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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