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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET22:00 BRT, October 10, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 18,045

Bruins look to continue hot start versus Avalanche

Boston Bruins at Colorado Avalanche

  1. The Avalanche are 4-0-1 in their last five meetings with the Bruins and have won each of the last two matchups between the teams held in Denver by identical 6-3 scores. Boston is 11-20-1-2 in the series since the Avs moved to Colorado in 1995, its worst record against any opponent over that time frame.
  2. Boston is seeking its first 4-0-0 start since 1990-91 and will attempt to join the 2015-16 Canadiens, 2001-02 Islanders and 1965-66 Blackhawks as the only teams to begin a season with four consecutive road wins. The Avalanche, meanwhile, have won eight straight regular-season home games dating back to last season, the franchise's longest streak since a 10-game run from Dec. 29, 2017-Feb. 14, 2018.
  3. Avs rookie Cale Makar can become the third defenseman in franchise history to record a point in each of his first three NHL regular-season games. Stefan Elliott accomplished the feat in 2011-12 and Quebec's Dave Pichette did so in 1980-81.
  4. David Pastrnak scored his first goal of the season and added two assists in Boston's 4-3 win at Vegas on Tuesday. Pastrnak's 23 October goals since 2016-17 are tied with Alex Ovechkin for second-most in the NHL, trailing only Auston Matthews (30).
  5. Mikko Rantanen has a power-play goal in each of Colorado's first two games. Only once in franchise history has a player opened a season with power-play goals in three straight games, with Michel Goulet doing so for the Nordiques in 1987-88.
  6. Colorado has at least one goal in all six periods, the second straight season it's began a campaign by doing so. The Avalanche have never started a season by scoring in each of the first seven periods since the club moved to Colorado, though it accomplished the feat four times during its tenure in Quebec.

The Boston Bruins have shown no ill-effects from losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last spring. The defending Eastern Conference champions are off to a flying start to this year, winning their first three games -- all on the road.

That momentum will be tested when they play their last road game before Saturday's home opener. Boston, fresh off of a 4-3 win in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, faces the unbeaten and rested Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Thursday night.

Colorado has won its first two games but hasn't played since Saturday night. It's a rare early rest but one the Avalanche have used to their advantage. Veteran defenseman Ian Cole hasn't played this year while recovering from surgery on both hips last season but he is OK to practice.

"He's cleared for contact, he's joining our team, so we'll just watch him now, continue to watch his progress at practice now that he's (practicing) 5-on-5 and allowed to compete in full participation," coach Jared Bednar told reporters. "We'll make a judgment on when he's going to play."

Despite Cole's improvement, he may not play Thursday. The Avalanche made one roster move, sending rookie defenseman Conor Timmins to the Colorado Eagles of the AHL and recalling defenseman Kevin Connauton. Mark Barberio, a healthy scratch for the first two games, and Connauton are candidates to be in the lineup against the Bruins.

The five-day layoff has given new center Nazem Kadri a chance to rest his sore foot. He took a shot off of it in the second period of Saturday's win over Minnesota and hobbled to the locker room. He returned to the ice in the third period.

Bednar also gave forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Andre Burakovsky, J.T. Compher and Joonas Donskoi an off day from practice on Tuesday. Compher won't play due to a lower-body injury but forward Colin Wilson is expected to suit up for the first time this year.

"We're a little bit dinged up, nothing that I anticipate is going to be long term," Bednar said.

The only thing the Avalanche can worry about going against the Bruins is they're a little rusty, and that might be a legitimate concern against a hot opponent. Boston has outscored its first three opponents 7-4, including a 1-0 shutout by Tuukka Rask in Arizona on Saturday night.

"We have a good group. We're pretty much all together again. We've got a couple of new guys, but we have a good team," forward Brad Marchand said after the win over the Vegas Golden Knights. "We're going to compete every night. That's what's in this room, that's what we expect."

Teams with deep playoff runs sometimes struggle to start the ensuing season but the short summer seems to have kept the Bruins sharp.

"It's not too long since we last played together and I think we have pretty much the same group, so we know the system and it helps," Rask said after making 31 saves against the Golden Knights. "I think we're feeling comfortable playing together and even though we were down a couple of goals we just trust the system and it worked out today."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 9, 2019

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