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Andrighetto Leading Avalanche's Offense

The newcomer has nine points in his first 12 games with Colorado

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Sven Andrighetto continues to fit quite nicely in the Colorado Avalanche's lineup.

The Swiss-born forward scored both of the Avs' goals in a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night and now has nine points with the club since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline on March 1.

Andrighetto's five goals and four assists in his 12 games with Colorado are the most on the team in that time frame. He also has Colorado's last three tallies after recording the club's lone marker in Saturday's 4-1 loss at the Edmonton Oilers.

"He's a great player," said Mikko Rantanen, one of Andrighetto's linemates. "He moves well. He sees the ice well, so it's fun to play with him. We've been building some chemistry the last couple games, so we have to do that next game, too."

Since joining the Avs, Andrighetto has been a staple in the squad's top six. He has mostly played on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Rantanen, skating in key situations that he wasn't necessarily getting with the Canadiens.

Andrighetto registered eight points (two goals and six assists) in only 27 games for Montreal.

On Monday, he played a career-high 20:49, breaking his previous best of 19:30, which came as a member of the Avalanche on March 15 against Detroit. Also, his two markers versus Calgary tied a career high for his most in a contest (Feb. 12, 2016 at Buffalo).

Avs head coach Jared Bednar noted that Andrighetto and his line had a slow start versus the Flames, but they turned up their intensity in the final frame.

"I didn't think he had the same kind of jump in his legs as he's had in his previous games, but he's competing and he made a few plays," Bednar said of Andrighetto. "That line was a little quiet for me early in the first two periods, but they got some jump going in the third period and were part of our attack."

The right wing by trade got Colorado on the scoreboard and cut Calgary's lead to 2-1 with an early power-play tally 3:06 into the final period. Andrighetto took advantage of a puck that caromed off the end wall from an Erik Johnson blast at the blue line, and he tossed the it past a sprawling Brian Elliott.

Andrighetto's sixth of the season ended a 0-for-20 drought by the Avalanche on the man advantage.

His second tally and seventh of the campaign was a shot from the high slot that found an opening through traffic and flew past Elliott with 1:54 remaining. That made it a one-goal game once again (3-2), but the Flames added an empty-net marker on the power play in the closing seconds to take the victory.

"It was a big goal from Sven in the third period," Rantanen said. "We just couldn't get that tying one, so it was tough."

Andrighetto is on his second three-game point streak (three goals and an assist) since joining the Avs, which also ties his career long that he previously set with the club from March 7-11.

COLBORNE MAKES SECOND TRIP HOME

Avalanche forward Joe Colborne had skated in 108 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome as a member of the Flames and watched many more from the seats as a kid growing up in the Calgary area.

On Monday night, Colborne was a visitor to the rink that he previously called home for the second time in his NHL career. Colborne played three seasons with the Flames from 2013-2016 before signing with the Avalanche as a free agent last summer.

"Not much difference than the first (time). A lot of old memories from here," Colborne said before the contest. "A lot of good friends on the other side, but we're going to put those off for a few hours."

He played his first game at the historic Saddledome as a member of the opposition earlier this year when Colorado made its initial trip to the Alberta's largest city on Jan. 4.

TOUGH STRETCH CONTINUES

The Avalanche has one of the tougher schedules to close the 2016-17 regular season in the NHL, as the club plays 11 of its final 12 outings against teams in the playoff picture.

The Calgary Flames were the latest opponent in Colorado's brutal stretch, as they are battling for a Pacific Division championship with the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and rival Edmonton Oilers. With the win on Monday, the Flames are now one point behind the Oilers for third place in the division and only three points away from the leading Ducks.

"They're a hot team," Rantanen said of facing Calgary. "They're in the race for the playoffs; they're trying to clinch a playoff spot. So it's tough, especially in their home barn here. They have a good crowd here. It's tough and they showed it."

The Avs' schedule won't get any easier, as they next host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center. Washington leads the NHL with 106 points and is gunning for its second-straight Presidents' Trophy.

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