March 11, 2023 | 4:00 p.m. MST | ball arena | Denver, Colo.
TV: Bally Sports Arizona | Radio: ESPN Radio 620 AM
After a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators, the Arizona Coyotes make a quick trip to Colorado on Saturday to take on the Avalanche in the second of four meetings between the Central Division rivals.
Arizona returns home Sunday to play its second game in as many days and opens a four-game homestand by hosting the Minnesota Wild at Mullett Arena.
The Coyotes won their first clash against the Avalanche 6-3 on December 27 at Mullett Arena.
star forward Clayton Keller And Nick Schmaltz are both approaching career milestones as Keller is one assist away from 200 while Schmaltz is just one goal away from 100. Keller has five points in his last three games.
Player to watch: Matthew Maccelli continues to have a special season as the 22-year-old still leads all NHL rookies this season with 29 assists. He is also third overall with 34 points, behind Mason McTavish (38) and Matty Beniers (49), while his points per game played of 0.72 is just below Beniers’ mark of 0.75.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE
The reigning Stanley Cup winner has endured an injury-plagued season of ups and downs but still sits third in the Central, a point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets with two games in hand.
Colorado has been a mixed bag, a trend that has continued lately. The Avs won six straight games from Feb. 15-27 but have since lost four of five, including a 5-2 loss to the Kings in their last game.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in points (77) and assists (50), while Mikko Rantanen is not only first on the team but third in the league with 42 goals. Colorado has used five different goalies this season, most recently playing with the tandem of Alexandar Georgiev and Jonas Johansson. The former is 27-14-5 with a 2.64 clean sheet average and 0.919 percent save percentage, while the latter has played just 23:15 in a game this season and emerged relieved on December 31.
Despite the many injuries throughout the season, the Avalanche have maintained a strong power play presence and are ranked ninth in the league with a conversion rate of 23 percent (level with the Bruins).
Arizona and Colorado will meet twice more this season, on March 24 in Denver and March 26 in Tempe.
Player to watch: Look no further than MacKinnon, who is nearing a second straight 80-point season. The 27-year-old center has played 690 career games and has five goals and one assist in his last five games. He has 30 points in 29 career games against the Coyotes.