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Avs Kick Off Homestand Versus Coyotes

by Danielle Bernstein / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Avalanche begins a four-game home stand on Tuesday night, hosting the Arizona Coyotes at Pepsi Center.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams, as the Avalanche took a 3-2 win at Gila River Arena on Oct. 29.

"I'm kind of watching their season a little bit. They're a little bit like us, a little bit inconsistent. They're scoring a lot of goals some nights and they have some good speed. A young group, so they make some mistakes, but when it comes to their ability to put the puck in the net, they've got a lot of it and on some nights it's showing up," said head coach Jared Bednar about what the team learned from the first game against the Coyotes. "I thought we did a real good job of handling them in there and staying the aggressors and playing on our toes when we were in that building. We were doing things right from start to finish. We had real good focus that game; that's why we had success, and that's what we need again tomorrow."

Video: Altitude previews Avalanche vs. Coyotes 
Last Time Out

The Avalanche split a weekend back-to-back, topping the Minnesota Wild 1-0 at home on Saturday before losing to the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Sunday. Calvin Pickard's 32-save shutout and Gabriel Landeskog's game-winning goal in the third period lifted the Avalanche to victory on Saturday. Colorado came within a marker of the Blues in the second period after letting up two early markers on Sunday, but St. Louis scored three unanswered to take a four-goal win. 

Arizona also enters Tuesday's game coming off a 5-1 loss, as the Coyotes fell to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night in Anaheim. Jamie McGinn scored the lone goal for Arizona, and Louis Domingue was replaced by Justin Peters in net after the first period. 

 

Stacking Up: Offense and Defense

The Avalanche is averaging two goals per game (29th in the league) while Arizona enters Tuesday's contest with a 2.73 goals per game average. The Coyotes' strongest period has been the first, where they have scored 11 of their 30 tallies on the season. 

Saturday's win was the second shutout of the season for Colorado, and the Avs rank 22nd in the league in goals against, averaging three per contest. The Coyotes have allowed an average of 3.82 goals per game, a league high.

 

Stacking Up: Special Teams

Colorado has converted on 17.1 percent of its 41 power-play opportunities this season and has been stronger on home ice with a 20 percent success rate. The Avs' penalty kill has remained strong, holding the Wild scoreless on three opportunities on Saturday and going 3-for-4 on Sunday. The Avalanche has now killed 22 of its last 24 shorthanded situations.

The Coyotes' power play has converted on 8.8 percent of its opportunities but has been a more successful 10.5 percent on the road. On the penalty kill, Arizona has killed 30 of 40 times shorthanded.

 

Player to Watch

Colorado: Forward Andreas Martinsen

While his numbers may not stand out, Andreas Martinsen has provided a physical presence on Colorado's fourth line and leads the team with 33 hits this season. He also has five takeaways, which puts him in a tie for fourth on the team.

Arizona: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Ekman-Larsson leads the league's defensemen with five tallies and paces the Coyotes in goals and power-play markers (2).

 

Lineup Notes

Calvin Pickard is expected to make his fourth start of the season. Pickard was also the starter in the first matchup between the Avs and the Coyotes, where he made 24 saves in the 3-2 win. Pickard's 1.50 goals against ranks third in the league, and his .946 save percentage ranks fifth.

Blake Comeau (groin), who missed Sunday's game, will remain out of the lineup as Bednar wants to ensure he is 100 percent healthy before working him back into the mix.

 

The Details

Tuesday's game begins at 7 p.m. MT and tickets are still available. The contest can be watched live on Altitude 2 and can be heard on 92.5 FM The Wolf and at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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