If the Avalanche are going to turn around their season, it's because they become a dominating team on home ice. The altitude and relative distance between other NHL cities are a built-in advantage at the Pepsi Center every time the puck drops at center ice. Right now, Colorado is 2-5-1 at home -- not even close to getting it done. After a two-week long seven-game road trip, the Avs will try to improve this record against an Ottawa Senators team that has won three in a row.
Ottawa has been great on the road so far this season, starting 6-3-1, and are led by stars Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan -- both averaging about a point-per-game through 21 games. Colorado will counter with a top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, and Gabriel Landeskog that is as hot as any in the league at the moment. Duchene will attempt to extend his point streak and become the sole highest goal-scoring player in a single month, surpassing Claude Lemieux with eleven pucks in the net.
Semyon Varlamov will make another start in net after returning from injury on Monday. He showed glimpses of having returned to form, stopping 20 of 21 Winnipeg shots, and will look to establish a more consistent level of play than he showed before sitting with a (seemingly annual) groin injury. Opposite Varlamov is expected to be former Avalanche netminder, Craig Anderson, who has started every game of Ottawa's three-game winning streak. He's struggled against Colorado in previous starts, averaging more than five goals allowed per game with a 1-3-1 record.
Game time: 7:30pm MT