The Colorado Avalanche face off against the Buffalo Sabres in the second of a four-game road trip. Coverage is slated to begin at 5 p.m. MT on Altitude Sports at KeyBank Center.
Saturday’s contest is the first of two contests against the Sabres this season. The Sabres visit Denver on Dec. 15 for a 7 p.m. MT puck drop.
LAST TIME OUT
The Avs look to bounce back after suffering a 5-0 loss in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Jean-Luc Foudy made his NHL debut while Alex Galchenyuk made his first appearance in an Avalanche uniform after spending training camp with Colorado.
Buffalo enters the matchup on the second game of a back-to-back, capturing a 5-4 shootout win in Detroit Wednesday night. Dylan Cozens scored two goals and Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson each found the back of the net once.
Colorado owns a 67-60-22 all-time mark versus Buffalo, with a 23-10-4 record since 1995-96.
Since the franchise moved to Denver, the Avalanche hold an 11-5-2 mark on the road versus Buffalo.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is sidelined until early next year after undergoing surgery. Veteran center Darren Helm is still sidelined after undergoing offseason surgery but has been skating. There is no timetable for his return. Forward Valeri Nichushkin is out until at least some time in early December after undergoing surgery. Defensemen Bowen Byram is out with an undisclosed injury, but has resumed skating on his own. Center Shane Bowers made his NHL debut on November 10 but suffered an upper body injury in less than two minutes of ice time. Kurtis MacDermid suffered a lower body injury November 12 and is for at least another two weeks.
SCOUTING THE SABRES
Buffalo enters Thursday’s game with the fifth-best scoring offense in the league, coming in at an average of 3.70 goals per game. Tage Thompson paces the Buffalo offense with 29 points (14G, 15A).
Rasmus Dahlin is second on the team in scoring with 26 points (8G, 18A), and also ranks second in the league scoring among blueliners.
JJ Peterka (4G, 8A – 12P) and Jack Quinn (4G, 7A – 11P) are atop first year players in scoring throughout the league, t-4th and t-6th in rookie scoring, respectively.
The Sabres have the fewest hits on opponents of any team in the league at 303.
DOING THE MOST
Mikko Rantanen has averaged 1.33 points per game in his nine contests against Buffalo.
Nathan MacKinnon leads all active Avs skaters with 16 points (7G, 9A) against the Sabres franchise.
Alexandar Georgiev holds a 4-2-0 record versus the Sabres in his career, notching a 2.72 GAA and a .910 Sv%.
The Colorado Avalanche finished the month of November with the third-best points percentage (.727) in the Western Conference for the month.
Through their first 20 games, Avalanche netminders Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz have surrendered the third-fewest goals in the NHL this season at 52. In five-on-five play, the Avs’ defense has remained stout, allowing just 28 goals which is the second-lowest mark in the league.
Colorado enters Thursday’s matchup with one day of rest and on the road. The Avs have a 2-0 record this season with one day off split between two road games.
The Colorado Avalanche have allowed the fewest first-period goals in the league this season at 10.
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