The Colorado Avalanche closes out its two-game homestand on Friday night, hosting the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center. It's the first game of a back-to-back set for the Avs, who will travel to Minnesota following the game and take on the Wild Saturday evening.
The last time Ottawa and Colorado met at Pepsi Center was on March 11, 2017, as the clubs played both games of their 2017-18 season series in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the NHL Global Series.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche lost for the first time in regulation at home on Wednesday night, falling 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Pepsi Center. It was the first time Colorado was shut out at home since March 5, 2017, a stretch of 51 consecutive contests without such an instance. Semyon Varlamov stopped 23-of-24 shots and has surrendered just one tally in four of his seven starts this season. The Avs were scoreless on four power-play opportunities and finished 2-for-3 on the penalty kill, the first time this season they've allowed a power-play goal on home ice.
The Senators are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, snapping a season-long, three-game winning streak. Thomas Chabot scored the lone goal for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson finished with 28 saves. The Sens finished 1-for-5 on the power play, and the Bruins scored on each of their two man-advantage opportunities.
Last Time They Met
Mike Hoffman broke a 3-3 tie midway through the third period to lift the Senators to a 4-3 win over the Avalanche on Nov. 11. The outing was the second of two contests that were played at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the NHL Global Series. Sven Andrighetto, Alexander Kerfoot and Blake Comeau were the goalscorers for the Avs, who finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
What To Watch
Avs against the East
Friday's matchup wraps up a stretch of six straight games and nine-of-10 contests against Eastern Conference opponents. The Avalanche is 5-2-1 against Eastern teams this season, including a 1-1-0 record versus the Atlantic Division.
The Avalanche has allowed a league-low 2.00 goals-per-game, surrendering just 20 markers through its first 10 contests. Colorado's goaltending tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauer leads the league in goals-against average (1.98) and save percentage (.942). The Avs have yielded just one goal in three consecutive contests.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Defenseman Ian Cole
Cole leads the Avs and is tied for second among NHL defensemen with 30 blocked shots. He also ranks second on the team in short-handed ice time per game (4:19) as part of Colorado's third-ranked penalty-kill unit.
Ottawa: Defenseman Maxime Lajoie
Lajoie's seven points (four goals, three assists) are tied for second among NHL rookies. He's tied for fourth on the team and ranks second among Senators defensemen in scoring. Lajoie also leads Ottawa with two power-play goals and shares the team lead with four power-play points, tied for first among first-year players in the league.
Philipp Grubauer will get the start in goal for the Avalanche on Friday in the first half of a back-to-back set. Semyon Varlamov will play Saturday in Minnesota.
Friday night's game begins at 7 p.m. MT, and tickets are still available. The game will be televised on Altitude and streamed on the AltitudeNOW app or NHL.tv. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.