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5
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Colorado 1 3 0 1 5
Florida 3 1 0 0 4
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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, October 18, 2019
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida  Attendance: 13,382

Avalanche aim to rebound from first loss vs. Panthers

Colorado Avalanche at Florida Panthers

  1. The Avalanche had won three straight against the Panthers before Aaron Ekblad scored in overtime to lift Florida to a 4-3 win on February 25. During that 3-0-1 stretch, Colorado has totaled 17 goals despite going 0-for-12 on the power play.
  2. Colorado failed in a bid to open a season with six consecutive wins for the first time since 2013-14, falling 3-2 in overtime at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Avalanche, who were held under three goals for the first time this season, are tied for second in the NHL with 4.0 goals per game (Nashville -- 4.2).
  3. This will be a rare home game for the Panthers, who play 12 of their first 18 games on the road. They lost their only home game this season, 6-3, to Carolina on October 8 and are coming off a 1-0-2 road stretch capped by a 6-4 victory at New Jersey on Monday.
  4. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have both recorded at least one point in all six games this season. MacKinnon's nine points through the first six games is the best total of his career and Rantanen's 10 points through six games is also the most of his career.
  5. Keith Yandle played in his 803rd consecutive game Monday to extend the longest active streak in the league. He ranks seventh among active defensemen with 530 points and leads all active defensemen with 209 power-play assists.
  6. Philipp Grubauer is 11-0-3 with a 1.97 goals-against average in his last 14 regular-season starts dating to March 17, 2019. He leads all goalies during that span in wins and is second with 459 saves (Matt Murray -- 474). Grubauer has opened a season with four wins in five starts for the first time in his career.

The Colorado Avalanche, who jumped out to a 5-0-0 start and had scored at least three goals in each game, won't be in a good mood when they arrive for Friday's game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

Colorado sustained its first loss on Wednesday night after dropping a 3-2 decision in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I don't think we're happy with the outcome or how we played," Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer said. "Maybe this was a reality check."

Next up for the Avalanche are the Panthers, who are coming off a dramatic 6-4 road win at the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

Florida trailed 4-1 in the second period before scoring five straight goals.

"There was no doubt we were coming back," Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar said. "We had done it the past two games (shootout losses to the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders). We have the weapons to do that."

The Panthers picked up four points in their just-completed three-game road trip, giving them a boost of confidence for their return home.

"I've seen so much character from this team the past few games," Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. "We're resilient, and we fight to the end."

That fight will be tested on Friday by the Avalanche, who have been atop many Western Conference power rankings this season due to their hot start.

Colorado finished last season just one win short of an appearance in the Western Conference Finals. The Avalanche then got busy in the summer, making key personnel moves.

Among the holdovers is Grubauer, who turns 28 next month and is in his second season with Colorado. Last season, he went 18-9-5 with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

This year, he is again proving to be a bargain with a $3.3 million annual contract. He is 4-0-1 with a 2.57 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

Backup Pavel Francouz, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, has just three games of NHL experience. He owns a 1-0-0 record this season with a 1.90 GAA and a .944 save percentage.

Colorado's big star is Nathan MacKinnon, a 24-year-old who was the NHL's first overall pick in 2013.

MacKinnon recorded career highs in goals (41) and points (99) in 2018-19. He has three goals and six assists this season.

The Avalanche's top line of MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog combined for 106 goals and 261 points last season.

Colorado's second line features three newcomers to the team: wingers Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi as well as center Nazem Kadri, and that group so far this season has combined for six goals and 12 points.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are led by team captain Aleksander Barkov and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Barkov became an NHL All-Star last season, getting career highs in goals (35) and assists (61).

Bobrovsky was in the net when the Columbus Blue Jackets engineered a stunning four-game sweep of the reigning Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. After that, Bobrovsky bolted Columbus and signed a seven-year, $70 million contract with Florida.

So far, however, Barkov has five assists and Bobrovsky is 2-2-1 with a 3.90 GAA.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 17, 2019

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