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Colorado Opens Road Trip Against Minnesota

The Avalanche concludes its road trip at Dallas on Thursday

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

With just 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Colorado Avalanche (31-29-12) faces the Minnesota Wild (34-30-9) at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. It is the fourth and final clash between the Central Division rivals this season.

Colorado is 47-41-13 all-time against the Wild, which includes a 21-20-9 record on the road. This season, the Avs have gone 1-2-0 against the division rivals.

Following the outing, the Avalanche heads to the Dallas Stars on Thursday before beginning a home-and-home set with the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Last Time Out

Philipp Grubauer recorded his third shutout in five games as Colorado blanked the Devils 3-0 at Pepsi Center on Sunday. Defenseman Tyson Barrie netted the first two goals in the contest, both with assists from Sven Andrighetto, to bring his season total to 50 points (nine goals, 41 assists). Nathan MacKinnon also had two points in the outing, recording a helper on Barrie's first marker and sealing the victory with an empty-net tally in the third period. MacKinnon now has 91 total points this season, marking the second year in a row he has notched more than 90 points in a single campaign.

The Wild battled the New York Islanders on Sunday and fell 3-2 in overtime at Xcel Energy Center. Ryan Donato registered two assists in the outing, helping on Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon's markers. Both Wild goals came on the power play as Minnesota went 2-for-6 on with the man advantage and outshot the Islanders 34-20 as goaltender Alex Stalock made 17-of-20 saves.

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche fell 5-2 to Minnesota at Pepsi Center on Jan. 23. Eric Staal recorded two goals and an assist in the clash while Spurgeon, Charlie Coyle and Ryan Suter also tallied for the Wild. Carl Soderberg and Tyson Barrie scored for Colorado, who went 1-for-2 on the power play. Philipp Grubauer was between the pipes for the Avs and made 23 saves.

What To Watch

Playoff Push

Both the Avalanche and Wild are battling for wild-card positioning in the race toward the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Colorado has 74 points this season and has played one less game than the Wild, which has 77 points, ranking ninth in the Conference and one point behind the Arizona Coyotes.

Defensive Strength

So far in March, Avalanche defensemen have generated 12 points (five goals, seven assists) out of Colorado's 45 total points (17 goals, 28 assists). Barrie leads the team defensemen in points (50) this season and ranks tied for fifth overall among rear guards in the NHL in power-play scoring (23 points).

Players To Watch

Colorado: Right Wing Sven Andrighetto

Andrighetto put up two points on Sunday (two assists) to register his second multi-point performance of the season and he has three points (one goal, two assists) in his last two outings. The forward has racked up 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) through 54 games this year. He ranks fourth among Avalanche forwards with a plus-8 rating and has produced five points (five assists) in eight career outings versus the Wild.

Minnesota: Defenseman Jared Spurgeon

Spurgeon has found the back of the net in consecutive games to bring his season total to 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists). It is the fifth time in the 29-year-old's career that he has tallied in back-to-back contests. In addition, he leads the Wild in blocked shots (126) and paces the club with a plus-9 rating. Through 39 games played against the Avalanche, Spurgeon has collected 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and a plus-15 rating.

The Details

Tuesday's contest between the Avalanche and Wild is slated for 6 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.

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