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Game 3 Preview: Bruins @ Avs

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The Winless Bruins (0-3-0) visit the Denver for an early season inter-conference affair with the Avalanche (1-1-0).

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The season is only two games young and so far it has shown shown quite a lot about the 2015-2016 Colorado Avalanche. While a heartbreaking loss to the Wild on opening night showed some kinks in the armor, most of the exposed qualities of the Avalanche early on have been positives. Take out a horrendous third period performance last Thursday night, and the Avalanche are outscoring their opponents 10-4.

One of the biggest reasons for that is the new depth the Avs have across their line-up, particularly with their fourth line. With the addition of several newcomers this year, John Mitchell can play the role he was initially picked up by the Avs to play: fourth line center. John Mitchell certainly is more talented than the role he has been given, and his speed and skill coupled with that of newcomer and former first round draft pick, Jack Skille allows the Avs to create a mismatch against other teams bottom lines. Already this line has shown how they can control the puck and gas the other team's bottom lines by aggressively forechecking them in their own zone. Essentially, this line is doing what other teams had been doing to the Avs' bottom lines for the last couple years and it's leading to goals.

Despite the loss of Ryan O'Reilly over the summer, the Avs have been able to maintain their great depth at center this year with the addition of Carl Soderberg. The big Swede turned 30 years old on Monday and as a birthday present, he'd love to get a win against the team that brought him into the NHL, the Boston Bruins. 2015 has been a rough season for the Bruins so far. After a summer of change that saw the team lose a number of familiar faces, the Bruins have started the season with three straight home losses and the league's worse goals against. They'll be looking to turn things around as they come to Denver for their first road game of the season.

LINES

Comeau-Duchene-Iginla
Landeskog-MacKinnon-Tanguay
Rantannen-Soderberg-Rendulic
McLeod-Mitchell-Skille
Beauchemin-Johnson


Zadorov-Barrie
Stuart-Holden


Varlamov
Berra


Scratches: Grigorenko, Gormley, Guenin

NOTES

- After going ten games without a goal to start the season last season, Nathan MacKinnon notched his first tally of the year in just the fourth period of the season on Saturday. Coupled with four assists, that places MacKinnon along with teammates Francois Beauchemin, and Gabriel Landeskog among the league's top ten scorers in the early going.

- After a rough offensive preseason, the Avs have scored ten goals in just two games, placing them atop the league in goals per game. Tonight they face a struggling Boston team that is the worst in the league in goal against average.

- Special teams have been a bright spot in the first two games after sitting with a cloud of doubt last season. The Avs have four power play goals on just six chances, giving them the league's best power play percentage after one week of play. Number two, interesting enough, is the Boston Bruins.

GAME INFO

Game time: 8pm MT

TV: ALT