National Hockey League
Avalanche-Canucks Preview
National Hockey League

Avalanche-Canucks Preview

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 2:17 a.m. ET

The Colorado Avalanche failed to open their four-game swing through Canada on a positive note.

They haven't had much go right against the Vancouver Canucks this season, either.

In danger of losing a season-high fourth straight road contest, the Avalanche try to avoid being swept by the Canucks on Wednesday night.

After recording back-to-back wins to conclude to a 3-1-0 homestand, Colorado (35-31-4) blew a 2-0 lead en route to Saturday's 3-2 loss to lowly Winnipeg. In the mix with Minnesota for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Avalanche have little room for error down the stretch.


"We're going to have to find a way to win the next one, that's all," coach Patrick Roy told the Avalanche's official website. "Short-term (vision) for us, and now we have a big one coming up in Vancouver. We're going to have to be ready for that one."

With each opponent on this trip set to miss the playoffs, it appeared the Avs would be in good shape to pile up some points. However, the fashion in which Saturday's defeat unfolded is something they can't afford to let linger.

"You never have it in the bag in this league,'' said forward Matt Duchene, who had a goal and an assist to match his 55 points from last season. ''It's an unfortunate loss to a team that, you know, we should be more desperate than. They played well, but we have to find a way to win that game."

Semyon Varlamov stopped 74 of 75 shots to win the previous two games before making 27 saves Saturday. He's 0-3-0 with a 5.13 goals-against average in four road starts.

That includes a rough outing in a 5-1 loss to Vancouver on Feb. 21. Varlamov has yielded all but one goal while the Avalanche have been outscored 8-2 in two meetings with the Canucks (27-29-12) this season.

Colorado was last swept in a season series by Vancouver in 2011-12.

"Play good as a team," Colorado rookie forward Andreas Martinsen said. "When we do that, we can beat everyone."

The Canucks' bid for a third consecutive victory was also halted by Winnipeg in Monday's 5-2 defeat. After totaling seven goals in the previous two on their four-game homestand, the Canucks managed 13 shots over the first two periods and didn't score until the Jets had completed their scoring in the third.

"It's really disappointing," forward Daniel Sedin said. "We get two wins and play real well then we have a bad one (Monday)."

After watching backup Jacob Markstrom get roughed up against Winnipeg, Ryan Miller is expected to be back in net. Miller made 37 saves Feb. 21, then posted a 3.35 GAA in the next four starts before stopping 35 shots in Saturday's 4-2 victory over Nashville.

Vancouver has gone 0 for 16 on the power play in four games. Colorado has killed 35 of 37 penalties in 12.

Duchene has four goals and seven assists in 11 games.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will serve the second of his three-game suspension for a cross-check on Anaheim's Simon Despres last week.

Daniel and brother Henrik Sedin combined for seven assists Feb. 21.


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