The Colorado Avalanche finishes its two-game road stretch with a contest against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Both teams sport a 2-1-0 record through three games, and will skate in the first of two clashes between the squads during the 2018-19 season.
The Avalanche brings a 17-10-4 all-time record against the Sabres into Thursday's contest at KeyBank Center, including an 8-5-2 mark on the road.
Last Time Out
The Avs fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena in their first loss of the season. Getting his first start as a member of the Avalanche, Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves on 34 shots. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, Nathan MacKinnon answered with his third goal of the season at the 3:27 mark of the middle frame. Carl Soderberg added his second marker of the campaign when he redirected the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky on the power play. Columbus broke the tie in the third period by scoring three goals.
The Sabres won their second consecutive game when they downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 on Monday in Buffalo. Jack Eichel scored the first two goals for the home team, followed by goals from Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville. Goaltender Carter Hutton made 35 saves in his third start for the Sabres.
Last Time They Met
On Feb. 11, 2018 the Avalanche prevailed in a high-scoring affair, winning 5-4 at KeyBank Center. Colin Wilson was the only Av to record a multi-point game with a goal and an assist, while nine other Avs reached the scoresheet with one point. Alexander Kerfoot, Matt Nieto, Tyson Jost and Gabriel Bourque also found the back of the net. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 28 saves for Colorado. Each team went 1-for-5 on the power play.
What To Watch
Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov will get the start in net against the Sabres, head coach Jared Bednar said after practice on Wednesday. In his first two starts, the Samara, Russia, native has posted a 2-0-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage.
The first-overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, Rasmus Dahlin has played in all three games for the Sabres logging an average of 19:26 of ice time and recording a total of three shots on goal. The Trollhattan, Sweden, native has yet to register his first NHL point.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Forward Vladislav Kamenev
The 22-year-old forward will make his season debut with the Avalanche after appearing in three games with Colorado during the 2017-18 campaign. His previous NHL experience also consists of two games with the Nashville Predators. Kamenev was drafted by the Predators in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Buffalo: Forward Jack Eichel
The Boston University product is in his first season as captain of the Sabres, and his fourth in Buffalo. Through three games, he is leading his club with three goals and four points. The 21-year-old has registered at least 24 goals in each of his previous three NHL seasons.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth is set to make his return to the lineup after sustaining an upper-body injury in the season-opening win against the Minnesota Wild. Forward Vladislav Kamenev is also expected to be in the lineup, making his season debut for Colorado.
Thursday's matchup between the Avalanche and Sabres is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT. The game can be watched live locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the Altitude Now 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.