The Colorado Avalanche plays the second contest of a five-game road trip on Sunday against the New York Islanders, the final meeting of the season between the two teams. It's the second game of a back-to-back set for both teams, and the seventh of 11 back-to-back sets for Colorado this season.
Colorado has won two of its last four games and is 3-3-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets during this campaign. The Islanders enter tonight's matchup just three points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot. Since Christmas, the Isles have been the league's fifth-best team with an 11-4-4 record.
The Avs are 16-10-3 overall against the Islanders and 5-8-0 in 13 games on the road in the all-time series.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead into the third period but fell 4-2 to the New York Rangers on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Gabriel Landeskog and John Mitchell scored for Colorado, which outshot the Rangers 34-30
The Islanders are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon. Despite outshooting Ottawa 33-24, including a 14-5 margin in the second period, the Isles couldn't bury the puck past goaltender Craig Anderson, losing in regulation for just the second time since Jan. 14.
Last Time They Met
The Avalanche won the first matchup of the season 2-1 in overtime on Jan. 6. Landeskog tallied the first goal of the game early in the opening period and the Avs held a 1-0 lead until late in the second period when Johnny Boychuk evened the score at one, forcing an extra frame. Nathan MacKinnon potted the overtime winner to lift the Avs to victory. Calvin Pickard was named the First Star of the Game with a 35-save performance.
Video: Keefe and Rycroft preview tonight's game
What to Watch
Avs at the Faceoff Circle
The Avalanche won 65 percent of the draws in the first game against the Islanders this season, including a 14-for-17 (82 percent) performance from Matt Duchene, who finished a combined 10-for-10 against John Tavares, Casey Cizikas and Alan Quine.
Isles Against the West
New York is 8-2-1 this season--and 20-2-3 dating back to last season--when playing Western Conference teams at Barclays Center. Some of this success has come versus the Avalanche, against which the home club has won eight of its last nine.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Left wing Gabriel Landeskog
The Avalanche captain extended his point streak to four games with a goal on Saturday night and now has four points (two goals, three assists) in that span. Landeskog leads the Avs with 41 takeaways this season and is tied with Mikko Rantanen and Jarome Iginla for the team lead in power-play goals.
New York: Center John Tavares
Since Jan. 13, the Islanders captain has recorded 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 14 games, which ranks fourth in the NHL in points and is tied for second in goals in that span.
Tyson Barrie, who has missed the last four games and eight of the last 10 with a lower-body injury, took pregame warmups on Saturday and is probable for Sunday's contest against the Islanders.
"He's still working to get back here in the lineup," Bednar said after Saturday's game. "He skated again today, and he worked out again today. I think that if we get the OK for him in the morning, he should be in the lineup tomorrow night."
The puck drops at 4 p.m. MT between the Isles and the Avs and can be watched live on Altitude TV. The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.