Florida at Colorado
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Colorado Avalanche look to rebound from a rough start as they play seven of their next nine games at home, starting with a visit from the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The defending Central Division-champion Avalanche have managed only nine goals in six contests while goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Reto Berra have missed games with injuries. The Panthers are suffering through an offensive drought as well with only five goals but have found a way to get points in three of five contests.
Colorado finished fourth in the league in scoring last season and must find that form against Florida, which has allowed only two tallies in its last three contests while going 1-1-1. “Overall, we’re playing a stronger defensive game,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant told the Miami Herald. “If you keep the goals down, you give yourself a chance, and I think the guys are buying in.” The Avalanche have allowed three goals or more in all but one game.TV:
9 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, Altitude (Colorado)ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-2-2):
Last season’s team scoring leader Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Jussi Jokinen, Tomas Fleischmann and Tomas Kopecky have yet to register a point in the first 13 days of the season. Veteran center Dave Bolland missed the 2-1 shootout loss to Washington on Saturday with a lower-body injury and is questionable. Roberto Luongo gave up five goals in the home-opening loss to New Jersey but allowed a total of four in his other three starts while registering a .905 save percentage. ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (1-4-1):
Colorado, which finished fifth in the league on the power play last season, has scored just once in 22 opportunities to start 2014-15. Jarome Iginla and 2014 Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon have yet to record a goal but lead the team with three assists apiece, while Matt Duchene and Alex Tanguay both have tallied twice. Calvin Pickard made his first NHL start Saturday and stopped 33 shots in a 3-2 loss at Montreal, but Berra (lower body) could return Tuesday.OVERTIME
1. Florida D Aaron Ekblad, the first pick in the 2014 draft, has one assist and a minus-1 rating while averaging 22:16 of ice time – third on the team.
2. Colorado C Ryan O’Reilly has recorded four goals – two last season – and two assists in six career games against the Panthers.
3. The teams split a pair of games last season, each winning away from home.PREDICTION:
Avalanche 5, Panthers 3
Stats and Records