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Colorado Wraps Up Road Trip In Columbus

The Avalanche is 1-1-0 so far on its three-game road wing

by Danielle Bernstein @danibernstein / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche (8-9-0) plays the final game of a three-game road swing at Nationwide Arena on Monday night, taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets (10-4-2).

This will be the first of two meetings between Colorado and Columbus this season and the only one at Nationwide Arena. The teams will meet again on Dec. 1 at Pepsi Center. The Avs are 36-13-4 all-time against Columbus and 17-6-3 as the road team in the series. Colorado was winless in two games against the Blue Jackets last season, falling 4-3 at home and 2-1 on the road.

Last Time Out

The Avs came from behind to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center. Colorado was down 2-0 after two periods of play, but Mikko Rantanen, Carl Soderberg and Nathan MacKinnon each tallied goals in the third period to lift the Avs to the victory. Calvin Pickard finished with 41 saves, and the Avs were 1-for-2 on the power play to take a 2-0-0 series lead over their Central Division rivals.

The Blue Jackets won their fourth straight game, topping the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Alexander Wennberg scored with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to give Columbus the win, while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves.

Video: Altitude TV Previews Avalanche at Blue Jackets

How They Stack Up

The Avalanche faces the league's second-ranked offense in Columbus, which is averaging 3.38 goals per game. The Blue Jackets have been led by left wing Nick Folingo, whose 18 points rank first on the team. Folingo and center Sam Gagner have each tallied a team-high seven goals. Columbus has seven players with double-digit point totals this season.

With a goal and an assist in Saturday night's win over the Wild, Nathan MacKinnon now leads the Avs with 12 points on the year. His eight assists are tied with defenseman Erik Johnson for the team lead. The Avalanche has averaged 2.12 goals per game.

Colorado ranks fifth in the league in overall faceoff percentage (51.8 percent) and first in offensive-zone faceoff percentage (56.0 percent), while the Blue Jackets rank 26th (47.8 percent) and 22nd (48.7 percent), respectively.

Columbus has the league's top power-play unit with 14 goals on 44 opportunities with the man advantage (31.8 percent). The Blue Jackets have been even stronger on home ice with the extra skater, scoring 10 goals on 24 power-play chances (41.7 percent). They've won eight straight games at Nationwide Arena, having not lost at home since Oct. 15.

Player to Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Fedor Tyutin
Recently promoted to the Avs' top defensive pairing with Erik Johnson, Tyutin makes his return to Columbus, facing a team he played 553 games for over the course of eight seasons (2008-16). Tyutin recorded 39 goals and 146 assists as a Blue Jacket.

Columbus: Left Wing Nick Folingo

The leading scorer for the Blue Jackets, Folingo has also had some success in his career against the Avalanche. His nine points (two goals, seven assists) are tied for fifth in Blue Jackets history against Colorado.

Lineup Notes

Semyon Varlamov is slated to start Monday's game in Columbus. Varlamov is 6-4-1 in his career against the Blue Jackets and has never lost in regulation at Nationwide Arena, posting a 4-0-1 record as the visiting goalie.

"I think they're both playing well. Pick went in last night and did his job, got us a big win. He played real well, but Varly played real well in Dallas too," said head coach Jared Bednar. "He got an unlucky break on the one goal, and then we had two major breakdowns that they scored on. In the areas they got to on those, you expect those to go in. So a lot of big saves when we needed them in the last two periods, and even his two games previous to that. I think he's been real good for us."

The Details

Monday's game begins at 5 p.m. MT and can be watched live on Altitude. Fans can listen on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 or at ColoradoAvalanche.com. 

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