The Colorado Avalanche has earned a point in each of its last two outings, but with the end of the regular season nearly a month away, it wants two points tonight at the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Avalanche has needed an extra frame in four of its last eight games and has a 4-1-3 record during that span. Most recently it fell 2-1 in overtime at the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
"I think that getting a point out of the game [at Chicago] is huge, but obviously not the result we want," said defenseman Tyson Barrie. "We have played well, we have played hard the last few games, so it's nice we found a way to get one point, but we got to find a way to start getting two here because you never know what it could come down to."
Both the Avalanche and the Blue Jackets are fighting to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their respective conferences.
The Avs are tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth spot in the Western Conference with 77 points. Columbus has 73 points and holds the last seed in the Eastern Conference with two more points than the Florida Panthers.
"Both teams are in similar spots in the standings," said Colorado head coach Jared Bednar this morning. "We got to respect the two points and come out here tonight for a real competitive game here against a good team."
The Avs are 18-10-1 versus teams from the east this season, including an 8-2-0 mark in their last 10 matchups. They are 38-14-4 all-time against the Blue Jackets, their best record against any opponent.
Columbus is 20-11-2 at home this season and has won its last two games but has not won three consecutive contests since November.
"At this point in the year, the guys are motivated enough and we are hungry enough," said Barrie. "There is a big group of us in here who know how hard it is to make the playoff.s and we have really stressed that to the younger guys and they have grasped it. We know what's on the line and we have done a good job putting ourselves in this position so we don't want to let it get away from us."
The last time the two teams met, the Avalanche shutout the Blue Jackets 2-0 on Jan. 4 at Pepsi Center in the team's fourth-consecutive win in what would be a 10-game winning streak for Colorado.
After suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 31, forward Sven Andrighetto will be back in the lineup for Colorado tonight.
Andrighetto has been on injured reserve for the team's last 28 games and was out longer than anticipated as his initial diagnosis had him listed as day-to-day. He has registered 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 37 games this season.
He is expected to be on a line with rookie center Dominic Toninato and left wing Gabriel Bourque.