Tuesday, October 3, 2023

NHL Preview: Colorado Avalanche (13-7-1) at Boston Bruins (19-3-0)


Date Opponent Time (MT) TV Radio
Sat, Dec. 3 at Boston 5 p.m. Altitude 92.5
Mon, Dec. 5 at Philadelphia 5 p.m. Altitude 92.5
Wed, Dec. 7 BOSTON 7 p.m. Altitude 92.5
Fri, Dec. 9 NY RANGERS 7 p.m. Altitude 92.5
Sun, Dec. 11 at St. Louis 1 p.m. ESPN 92.5

LAST GAME – Dec. 1 (Colorado 6, Buffalo 4 at KeyBank Center)
Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and three assists and J.T. Compher added four points (2g/2a) as the Avalanche beat the Sabres, 6-4, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo … Mikko Rantanen chipped in with a goal and one assist, Artturi Lehkonen also scored and Cale Makar and Devon Toews had two assists apiece … The Avalanche scored three power-play goals and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.
SF: 34 SA: 28 PP: 3-6 PK: 5-7
• MacKinnon’s five points tied his career high (fifth time) … It’s tied for the fifth most 5-point games in franchise history.
• Compher set a new career high with four points and won a career-best 21 faceoffs (21-11)
• The Avalanche’s three power-play goals were one shy of a season high set Oct. 12 vs. Chicago

5:08 p.m. MT / 7:08 p.m. ET
Altitude / 92.5
TV: Marc Moser (play-by-play), Mark Rycroft (analyst), Katie Gaus (reporter)
Radio: Conor McGahey
The Colorado Avalanche continues their four-game road trip tonight in Boston against the Bruins … The Avs are 1-1-0 so far on this trip, which wraps up Monday in Philadelphia … Colorado is 9-3-0 in its last 12 games after starting the year 4-4-1 in its first nine contests.

Tonight is the first of two meetings between the Avalanche and Bruins, with the second and final matchup taking place in just four days at Ball Arena in Denver … The Bruins’ 5-1 win here at TD Garden last season snapped a 14-game point streak for the Avalanche in Beantown (12-0-2)

Dec. 3 @ BOS
Dec. 7 vs. BOS

Overall: 0-0-0 Overall: 1-1-0 Overall: 61-73-16 Overall: 25-11-2
Home: 0-0-0 Home: 1-0-0 Home: 30-41-6 Home: 12-8-0
Road: 0-0-0 Road: 0-1-0 Road: 31-32-10 Road: 13-3-2

Cale Makar is set to appear in his 200th NHL game tonight in Boston … His 203 career points (plus tonight) are the most by a defenseman through 200 games in NHL history, eclipsing the previous mark held by Sergei Zubov (195 points) … Among all defensemen who appeared in at least 200 games during their career, only Makar (1.02), Bobby Orr (1.39) and Paul Coffey (1.09) averaged at least a point-per-game … Cale recorded his 200th career point on Nov. 21 in Dallas, reaching the milestone faster than any defenseman in NHL history (195th game) … Heading into the weekend, Cale ranked fifth among NHL defensemen in scoring this season with 23 points (6g/17a) in 21 contests … He shares the team lead with two gamewinning goals, giving him 15 in his career, the most of any defenseman since he made his debut in 2019-20

Nathan MacKinnon tied a career high with five points on Thursday in Buffalo, his fifth career 5-point game tying Michel Goulet and Marian Stastny for fifth most in franchise history … Thursday was MacKinnon’s 57th game with at least three points, tying Anton Stastny for fifth in franchise history for career games with three or more points (57) … MacKinnon’s two goals Thursday moved him past Gabriel Landeskog (248) for sole possession of sixth place on the franchise’s all-time list with 250, just two away from Anton Stastny (252) for fifth … Nathan’s three assists moved him past Milan Hejduk (430) for fifth place on the career helpers list with 431 … Tonight is MacKinnon’s 660th career game, passing Cody McLeod (659) for ninth place on the franchise’s all-time games played list.

Mikko Rantanen’s goal Thursday moved him past Matt Duchene (178) for ninth on the franchise’s all-time goals list with 179 … Rantanen’s effort was his 115th multi-point game, one behind Paul Stastny for 11th in club history

Colorado is 8-4-0 on the road this season, 9-4-0 if you include the one “home” game in Finland … The Avalanche finished a league-best 9-1 on the road during the 2022 postseason, tied for the fewest road losses by a Stanley Cup champion since 1987 (the 2012 Kings and 1995 Devils were both 10-1) … Colorado earned all four series-clinching wins on the road.

The Avalanche played their 20thgame of the season on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, the last NHL team to reach the unofficial quarter mark of their season … Colorado has the exact same record through 20 games as each of the previous two seasons (12-7-1) and nearly the same as three years ago (12-6-2).

The Avalanche finished 8-3-0 in November, the 23rd consecutive month that the Avs posted a .500 or better record in …. And 21 of those 23 months featured a winning record.

Colorado ranked fourth in the NHL in team save percentage heading into the weekend at .919 … Individually, Alexandar Georgiev ranked eighth in that category with a .922 mark … Colorado’s netminders are sixth in the NHL in team goals-against average (2.64).

Alexandar Georgiev is 11-3-1 in 15 starts with the Avalanche, ranking among the NHL’s top 10 in wins (11), save percentage (.922) and win percentage (.767) … He earned his 10th victory of the season in his 13th appearance on Nov. 26 against Dallas, tied for the second-fewest games to 10 wins in a season in franchise history … The only netminders to reach 10 wins in 13 games or fewer are Stephane Fiset (11 games in 1994-95 and 13 in 2009-10), Dan Bouchard (11 in 1980-81), Craig Anderson (13 in 2009-10) and Jocelyn Thibault (13 in 1994-95) … Going back to last year with the Rangers, Georgiev is 19- 4-1 in his last 25 games (24 starts).

Colorado is the NHL’s top power play team at 33.8% (26-77) … Colorado scored three power-play goals in Thursday’s victory over the Sabres … The Avs tallied a power-play goal in a season-high eight consecutive games from Oct. 29–Nov. 26 … The club posted a 39.3 success rate (11-28) in October, the second-best mark in a single month since relocating to Denver behind only November 2018 (40.0%) … The Avalanche’s power play scored at a 32.8% clip during the 2022 playoffs, the highest rate on record (since 1977-78) by an NHL team that played at least 20 games … During the 2021-22 regular season, Colorado finished seventh in power-play percentage (24.0%) and led all teams in power-play goals (67) … It marked the Avalanche’s fourth top-10 finish in the last five seasons.

Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche with 33 points, followed by Mikko Rantanen with 31, both of which rank among the NHL’s top-15 scorers heading into the weekend … MacKinnon’s 22 assists were tied for the league lead while Rantanen’s 14 goals tied him for sixth… Rantanen was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for Nov. 7-13 after MacKinnon was the NHL’s Second Star the week before from Oct. 31–Nov. 6.

Mikko Rantanen has 23 points (11g/12a) in nine home games this season, which ranks him among the league leaders in home scoring … Mikko’s 2.56 points-per-game average on home ice is by far the highest in the NHL … He has two or more points in seven of his nine home outings, which includes five 3-point efforts and three 4-point nights.

Colorado’s defensemen have combined for 59 points (12g/47a) this year, which ranks among the top 10 in the league heading into the weekend … The Avs defense produced 64 goals last season, a franchise record and the most by any team since the 1992-93 Capitals (94) … The Avalanche’s blueline also lead all teams in points with a franchise-record 238, the most since the 1995-96 Red Wings had 240 … Colorado’s defensemen finished with 69 points (18g/51a) during the playoffs, the most by any blueline in a four-round postseason since the 1984-85 Oilers (77).

The Avalanche debuted their adidas Reverse Retro 2022 ADIZERO jerseys in the Nov. 26th victory over the Dallas Stars … The 2022 Colorado Avalanche Reverse Retro uniform pays tribute to its home state by incorporating colors of the Colorado flag while reintroducing the original jersey design donned in the 1995 inaugural season … The Avs will wear the RR jersey four times this season: Nov. 26 vs. Dallas, Dec. 11 at St. Louis, Dec. 29 vs. Los Angeles and Jan. 2 vs. Vegas

Colorado was originally scheduled for 10 afternoon games this season, which could be reduced to nine depending on the makeup date of the postponed Nashville game from Nov. 25 …. The Avs finished 5-1-0 in day games last year, 3-0-0 at home and 2-1-0 on the road … Colorado is 13-3-1 in day contests since the start of the 2019-20 campaign and 16-3-2 in home afternoon contests since 2017-18.

The Avalanche were originally scheduled for 13 back-to-backs but that may be reduced to 12 depending on the makeup date of the Nov. 25th Nashville game that was postponed. … The Avs have played four back-to-backs so far, going 2-2-0 in the first game and 2-2-0 in the second … The Avalanche posted a 15-5-2 (.727) combined record in back-to-back games last season, the second-best mark behind Minnesota (.732, 19-6-3) … The Avs finished 7-3-1 in the first game and 8-2-1 in the second (.773), with only Tampa (10-0-2, .917) posting a better record in the second half of a back-to-back.

The Avalanche and Predators game at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 25 was postponed due to a water main break that significantly impacted the event level at the arena … A makeup date will be announced once it is determined.

Led by Nathan MacKinnon’s seven combined points (0g/7a) and Mikko Rantanen’s hat trick in the opener, the Avalanche swept the two-game NHL Global Series from the Blue Jackets in early November, out-scoring Columbus 11-4 … Colorado’s six goals in the 6-3 opening win set an NHL record for a single game outside of North America while the 11 combined goals were also the most over a two-game overseas series … Rantanen’s hat trick was just the third outside of North America in history, while MacKinnon’s four helpers that first night set a record for the most assists in a single game outside of North America … Alexandar Georgiev started and won both games, allowing four goals 71 shots (2.02 GAA, .944 Sv%) … His two victories already equal the record for career wins in games played overseas … MacKinnon’s seven assists and eight career points (he had one goal in the 2017 Global Series in Sweden) are both records for games played outside North America.

The Avs will play 26 games against their division foes, meeting Arizona, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis Winnipeg four times each (two home/away) and Chicago (two home/one away) and Minnesota (one home/two away) three times apiece … Colorado will play 24 games versus the Pacific Division (three times each) and 32 against teams from the Eastern Conference (one home/away).

Erik Johnson is in his 15th NHL season and 13th with the Avalanche … His 13 seasons rank fourth in franchise history behind only Joe Sakic (20), Adam Foote (17) and Milan Hejduk (14), with Foote the only other defenseman on that list … Johnson is the longest current tenured athlete of any of Denver’s four major sports teams, followed by Gabriel Landeskog and Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (both 12 seasons).

BEST SINCE 2019-20
The Avalanche are 150-59-20 (.699) since the start of the 2019-20 season, the most wins, points and best points percentage in the NHL … Only Tampa (49) has more playoff wins during that span

The Avalanche won their third Stanley Cup championship in 2022 following 1996 and 2001 … Colorado claimed its title by going 16-4 in the postseason, which included a pair of sweeps and defeating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning in six games during the Final … The Avs became the sixth team to win a Cup with four or fewer postseason losses since 1987 when the NHL went to four rounds of best-of-seven … And of those six only one team had fewer losses, the 1988 Oilers (two) … The Avalanche did not lose consecutive games all playoffs.

The 2021-22 Avalanche equaled the NHL record for the most combined regular season/playoff wins with 72 (56 regular season, 16 playoff), a feat only three teams in NHL history had achieved before … The 2021-22 Avalanche joined the 1995- 96 Red Wings, 1983-84 Oilers and 1976-77 Canadiens on that list.

The 2021-22 Avalanche set a franchise record with 56 wins and 119 points en route to winning their second straight division title and 11th since moving to Denver (13th in franchise history) … It marked the club’s first back-to-back division championships since their NHL-record run of nine straight from 1994-95 to 2002-03 … The Avs clinched the conference’s top spot despite facing a 10-point deficit behind the No. 1 seed on Dec. 3 … The last team to win their conference after overcoming a deficit of 10 or more points was the Rangers in 2014-15 (13) … After sweeping a back-to-back from Arizona on Jan. 15, the Avalanche remained in first place in the West over the final 106 days of the regular season … During a span of over two months from Feb 10–April 19, Colorado was first in the entire NHL for all but one day (68 out of 69)

Ten of the Avalanche’s wins during the 2022 postseason were earned in come-from-behind fashion, including four thirdperiod comebacks … Colorado’s 10 comeback wins tied the 2009 Penguins for the most in NHL history … The Avs trailed in all four of their series-clinching victories, the first team in NHL history to do so.

The 2021-22 Avalanche posted their best home season in franchise history with a 32-5-4 record (68 points) … Colorado tied Florida for the league lead in home points, ending with the most home points in the NHL for the second straight season after tying Penguins for league lead with 46 in 2020-21 … The Avs are just the third team over the last 30 years to post the league’s best home record in back-to-back seasons (outright or tie), joining the 2016 and 2017 Capitals and the 2007 and 2008 Red Wings … Colorado went 30-3-3 over its final 36 contests at Ball Arena … The Avs posted an 18-game home winning streak from Nov. 11–Jan. 30, the fifth longest run in NHL history … The club had a franchise record 22-game home point streak (20-0-2) from Oct. 30–Feb. 10, the NHL’s longest since 2013-14 (Anaheim, 20-0-2) … Colorado recently completed its best 60-game home stretch in franchise history going 49-5-6 (.867) from March 10, 2021 to October 19, 2022.

Colorado’s Stanley Cup championship came five years after a last-place finish in 2016-17 …. The Avs became the fifth team in the expansion era (1967-68) to win a title within five years of a last place finish and the first since the 2009 Penguins … Colorado won the Presidents’ Trophy the previous year in 2020-21, becoming the first NHL team to go from worst to first overall in four seasons or less since the Bruins in 1970-71.

After becoming the first player in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy in 2021-22, Makar followed that up by winning the 2022 Conn Smythe as playoff MVP … At 23 years, 239 days, he became the youngest defenseman in 52 years to win the Conn Smythe and just the third overall to do so at age 23 or younger, joining Bobby Orr with the 1970 Bruins (22 years, 51 days) and Serge Savard with the 1969 Canadiens (23 years, 102 days) … Makar won the Conn Smythe just five days after receiving his first Norris Trophy … He became the third player to win both awards in the same season, following Orr in 1970 and Nicklas Lidstrom in 2002 … Makar led the Avalanche and all NHL defensemen with 29 points (8g/21a) in 20 games, the fourth-highest total by a defenseman in Stanley Cup Playoff history behind Paul Coffey (37) with the 1985 Oilers, Brian Leetch (34) with the 1994 Rangers and Al MacInnis (31) with the 1989 Flames.

Jared Bednar is in his seventh season as the Avalanche’s head coach … Hired on Aug. 25, 2016, he is the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Jon Cooper (March 25, 2013) and Mike Sullivan (Dec. 12, 2015) … Jared led the 2021-22 Avalanche to their most successful regular season in franchise history (56-19-7, 119 points) and continued that into the postseason with a 16-4 playoff mark en route to capturing the 2022 Stanley Cup … Bednar, who won a Calder Cup with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016 and a Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, became the first individual to win a championship in the NHL, AHL and ECHL as a head coach … He is the winningest coach in Avalanche history with a 253-175-47 (.582) regular season record … Bednar owns a 40-22-1 (.635) record in 63 postseason games, the best playoff winning percentage among active coaches and the third highest all time (min 50 GP) behind Glen Sather (.706) and Toe Blake (.689).

Gabriel Landeskog enters his 12th NHL season and 11th as team captain … Landeskog was the youngest captain in NHL history when he assumed the role at 19 years, 286 days on Sept. 4, 2012, a title he held for four years before Connor McDavid was given the ‘C’ by Edmonton at 19 years, 266 days on Oct. 5, 2016 … Landeskog is the second-longest serving captain in franchise history behind only Joe Sakic (17 seasons, 16 consecutive) … Only three players have been captain of their current teams longer:

Sidney Crosby (PIT) ………………… 16th season (since 2007-08)
Jonathan Toews (CHI) …………….. 15th season (since 2008-09)
Alex Ovechkin (WSH) ……………… 14th season (since 2009-10)
Gabriel Landeskog (COL) …………11th season (since 2012-13)

General Manager (now President) Joe Sakic, who captained the Avalanche to a pair of titles in 1996 and 2001, became the first individual in league history to win a Stanley Cup as a captain and GM with the same organization … He was just the third to win a championship as a player and general manager with the same franchise, joining Serge Savard of the Canadiens and Milt Schmidt of the Bruins.



  • The Bruins host the Avalanche tonight in the 1st of 2 games between these teams this season and Colorado’s lone visit to Boston.
  • They are 19-3-0 this season and are 13-0-0 on home ice, which has extended the best home start in league history … They are 8-0-0 vs. Western Conference opponents.
  • The Bruins play game 3 of a 4-game home stand tonight vs. Colorado and will conclude vs Vegas on 12/5 …They will then face a 3-game road trip to Colorado on 12/7, Arizona on 12/9 and Vegas on 12/11.


  • The Bruins have won 9 of their last 10 games with a 7-game win streak from 11/7-21, a 5-2 loss in Florida on 11/23 and a 3-2 OT win vs Carolina on 11/25 and 3-1 win vs Tampa Bay on 11/29 … They are 15-2-0 in their 17 games.
  • They have extended their home win streak from the start of a season to an NHL-record 13-0-0 … It is their longest home win streak overall since 14-0-0 in 2008-09.
  • Boston 2 at Florida 5 … The Bruins had their 7-gm win streak stopped by a 5-2 score with PPGs by Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak … Jeremy Swayman took the road loss in goal … SOG: Bos 39, Fla 31 … PP: 2/6 … PK: 3/7
  • Boston 3 vs Carolina 2/OT … David Krejci erased a 2-goal deficit to force OT where David Pastrnak won the comeback (1-1=2 totals) with Pavel Zacha adding 2A … Jeremy Swayman earned the OT win (0 GA, 6 SOG in 16 Mins) after Linus Ullmark (2 GA, 30 SOG in 47 Mins) left with an injury … SOG: Bos 41, Car 36 … PP: 1/6 … PK: 2/6
  • Boston 3 vs Tampa Bay 1 … Taylor Hall scored twice, including his 4th GWG of the season, and Brad Marchand added the team’s 8th ENG … Jeremy Swayman won his 2nd straight decision in net … SOG: Bos 26, TB 28 … PP: 1/1 … PK: 1/2

INJURIES (Total man-games lost in 2022-23: 31)

  • Craig Smith – Upper body


  • The Bruins and Avalanche are meeting for the 151st time in their histories with the Bruins having a 74-58-15-3 record and 562-489 scoring advantage in those games.
  • The Bruins are 33-30-9-1 lifetime vs. Colorado at home with a 256-220 scoring edge in those 73 contests.

1: Boston’s rank in both goals for per game (3.95) and fewest goals against per game (2.18).

2: Boston’s special teams ranking in both the penalty-kill at 83.5% (14/85) and power play at 30.1% (25/83).

2: Player on the current roster new to the Bruins organization this season – A.J. Greer (free agent) and Pavel Zacha (trade).

4: Game-winning goals by Taylor Hall (tied for 2nd in the NHL), including three straight deciding goals from 10/20-25/2022 – deciding shootout goal vs. Anaheim on 10/20, OT goal vs. Minnesota on 10/22 and GWG vs. Dallas on 10/25.

4: Defenseman points in a game this season by Hampus Lindholm (1-3=4 vs PIT on 11/1) and Charlie McAvoy (4A vs CHI on 11/19).

4: Points by David Pastrnak (1-3=4 totals) on 10/12/2022 in Washington in the 2022-23 season opener … That is the most points in a Boston opener since Brad Marchand (2-3=5) and Pastrnak (2-2=4) in 10/13/2016.

8: Straight wins by Linus Ullmark from 10/12-11/3/2022 … It was a new career-best win streak and it also tied the longest win streak by a Boston goaltender from the start of a season (Tim Thomas, also 8-0-0 in 2010-11).

9: Game point streak by David Pastrnak from 11/7-25 with 6-7=13 totals in that span … That was his longest such stretch since a career-best 13-game stretch in 2019-20.

9: Players on the Bruins current roster who played college hockey – Connor Clifton, Charlie Coyle, Derek Forbort, Trent Frederic, AJ Greer, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Craig Smith and Jeremy Swayman.

10: Former first round draft picks on the current roster – Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Derek Forbert, Trent Frederic, Taylor Hall, Hampus Lindholm, Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha and Jakub Zboril

13: Straight home wins to open this season, which is the longest such streak in NHL history … That is Boston’s longest home win streak overall since a 14-game stretch in 2008-09.

19: Consecutive wins by Boston over Arizona after their 6-3 win on 10/15/2022 … That are the most wins by one opponent in club history.

+40: Boston’s league-leading goal differential, including an NHL-best 3rd period goal differential at 34-12 and +22.

389-25-20: Boston’s record since 2011-12 in games in which they have had a 2-goal lead in a game … That extends to 254-2-6 over that span when they have led by 3 goals

550: Consecutive Bruins games (regular season & playoffs) currently sold out at TD Garden … Their last non-sellout game was on 12/2/2009 when a Wednesday game vs. TB drew 16,553


  • The Bruins currently have 22 players on their roster … 10 were drafted by the team, 4 were acquired in trade and 8 were signed as free agents.
  • The Bruins play 16 matinees this season (local start time 4:00 pm or earlier) … They have a 2-0-0 record in afternoon games so far.
  • The Bruins play 14 sets of back-to-back games this season … They are currently 3-0-0 in the 1st game of those sets and are 2-1-0 in the 2nd games so far.
  • The Bruins are opening a 14-game December schedule tonight (8 hm/6 rd, 0-0-0) … They will play 14 games in January (5 hm/9 rd), 10 in February (3 hm/7 rd), 15 in March (9 hm/6 rd) and 7 in April (3 hm/4 rd) … They went 8-1-0 in October and 11-2-0in December.

Oct. 31: Mike Reilly recalled from Providence/AHL.
Nov. 2: Keith Kinkaid recalled from Providence/AHL.
Nov. 7: Jakub Lauko returned to Providence/AHL.
Nov. 9: Mike Reilly placed on waivers for assignment to Providence/AHL (assigned Nov. 10).
Nov. 16: Keith Kinkaid returned to Providence/AHL.
Nov. 28: Anton Stralman placed on waivers (cleared 11/29).

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