Ducks at Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche won three of their first four games in 2016-17 before they were snowed under in the midst of what quickly became a lost season with an NHL-worst 48 points. Intent on preventing history from repeating itself, the Avalanche look to continue a strong start to this campaign on Friday when they host the Anaheim Ducks at the Pepsi Center.
Former top overall pick Nail Yakupov scored three goals in Colorado's home-and-home sweep of Boston, while Matt Duchene collected three points (one goal, two assists) in what he admitted was a fun performance in the Avalanche's 6-3 win on Wednesday. "We said it on the bench and we talked about at the end of the game, we have fun with this one but it's the same thing on Friday night," the 26-year-old Duchene said. "We want to come out against Anaheim and do the same thing. You have to have a short memory when you're winning and when you're losing." The Ducks are taking their show on the road for the first time this season after closing out a four-game homestand with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Patrick Eaves returned from a three-game absence due to a lower-body injury to score the eventual game-winning goal.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, NHL.TV, Prime Ticket (Anaheim), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (2-1-1): Andrew Cogliano scored and set up a goal against the Islanders to increase his point total to five (two goals, three assists). Rickard Rakell has seen a significant uptick in ice time this season with his move to that of a full-time center, as he's averaging 22 minutes compared to 17-plus in 2016-17. "I would say that he’s still a work in progress," coach Randy Carlyle told the Orange County Register. "Raks shows that in some situations how dynamic he can be and in other situations, I think there's still a learning curve to be around the puck more and be stronger on it in certain situations."
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (3-1-0): Jonathan Bernier has been tabbed to face his former club, with which he stepped up last season in lieu of injuries to John Gibson and posted a 21-7-4 mark and recorded at least a point in 14 of his last 15 starts (12-1-2). Facing a former team is nothing new for the Quebec native, as he made 35 saves in a 4-1 loss to New Jersey last Saturday. Fellow goaltender Semyon Varlamov will get the start in Dallas on Saturday as Colorado braces for the first of 11 back-to-back games this season.
1. Colorado D Sven Andrighetto recorded his second consecutive two-point performance with a pair of goals versus Boston on Wednesday.
2. Anaheim placed F Ondrej Kase (head) on injured reserve Thursday, with the move retroactive to Tuesday.
3. Avalanche F Tyson Jost was limited to an off-ice workout on Thursday, with coach Jared Bednar telling reporters that he was unsure if the rookie would play versus the Ducks.