The Colorado Avalanche begins a season-long, five-game road trip Saturday, taking on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It's the second and final meeting between the teams this campaign and the only road contest in the season series for Colorado.
The Avalanche enters tonight's game coming off a three-game homestand in which it finished 2-1-0 with wins over the Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens. New York is in fourth in the Metropolitan Divisions and currently holds the Eastern Conference's top wild card spot.
The Avs are 18-12-1 overall against the Rangers and 10-5-1 on the road in the all-time series, including wins in four of their last five and seven of their last nine at Madison Square Garden.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche had its two-game winning streak snapped by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, falling 4-1 to the defending Stanley Cup champions. Gabriel Landeskog tallied a power-play goal for Colorado, and defenseman Nikita Zadorov logged a season-high 26:47 of ice time. Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each extended their point streaks to three games.
The Rangers are coming off a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, their fourth straight victory. J.T. Miller scored twice and Kevin Hayes pitched in three assists to lead New York, which trailed 2-0 early in the second period before rattling off four markers to take what would become a permanent lead. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 34 saves.
Last Time they Met
Colorado and New York rang in 2017 together, last meeting on Dec. 31 at Pepsi Center. The Avs scored the first goal of the game less than two minutes in, and the game was knotted at two after 20 minutes, but the Rangers potted two unanswered goals in each of the second and third periods to take the 6-2 win. Chris Kreider recorded a hat trick, and J.T. Miller added two for New York while Blake Comeau and Cody McLeod were the goalscorers for Colorado.
Video: Keefe and Rycroft preview tonight's tilt
What to Watch
Avalanche Power Play
The Avs have notched a power-play goal in each of their last three games and are now 3-for-7 (42.8 percent) over that span. Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Jarome Iginla are tied for the team lead with four man-advantage markers each, while Nathan MacKinnon has a team-leading 11 power-play points.
New York enters the game with the second-best offense in the league, averaging 3.39 goals per game. They've registered at least four markers in 13 of their last 19 contests and are especially lethal in the third period, where they've notched 70 of their 188 tallies--only three teams have recorded 70 goals in any period this season.
New York has also gotten scoring from throughout its lineup and is the only NHL team that has 12 players who have recorded at least 20 points this season.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Left wing Andreas Martinsen
Martinsen scored a goal in Colorado's 5-2 win over Winnipeg on Tuesday night and currently ranks second on the team behind only Nikita Zadorov (119) with 116 hits. He skated in his 100th NHL game on Thursday night, becoming just the fifth Norwegian-born player to play in 100 NHL contests. One of the other players on that list is Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello, who has skated in 357 NHL games, all with New York.
New York: Left wing J.T. Miller
Miller, who leads the Rangers with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists), has been on a tear and enters Saturday's tilt riding a career-high, five-game point streak (two goals, seven assists). He's produced a multipoint performance in each of his last four contests.
Saturday's game begins at 5 p.m. MT and can be watched live on Altitude 2. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.