NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Ottawa 2 1 0 3
Colorado 0 2 4 6
6
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 ETNaN:� BRT, October 26, 2018
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 16,851

Duchene makes return to Colorado with Senators

Ottawa Senators at Colorado Avalanche

  1. The Senators fell to the Bruins, 4-1, at home on Tuesday, snapping a three-game winning streak. Ottawa is a perfect 4-0-0 when holding opponents to three or fewer goals, one of seven teams this season yet to suffer a loss when doing so.
  2. Thomas Chabot scored Ottawa's lone goal on Tuesday, giving him a team-leading 10 points (3g, 7a) on the season, and at least one point in every game but one. His 10 points are tied for fourth among defensemen.
  3. The Sens have won each of the last four matchups with the Avs, and three straight in Denver. The four consecutive wins are the most in franchise history against Colorado. Colorado's longest winning streak in the series is seven games, from 2006 -- 2014.
  4. Despite losing 1-0 at home versus Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Avalanche did continue a great defensive stretch. They have allowed just one goal in three straight games, the first time they've done so since the 2015-16 season.
  5. Gabriel Landeskog has a +12 plus/minus, the best plus/minus through 10 team games since the franchise moved to Colorado in 1995-96. The last Nordique to have a +12 plus/minus (or better) through 10 team games was Joe Sakic in 1994-95 (+13).
  6. In 2011, the Avalanche traded Craig Anderson to Ottawa, and he's gone on to set franchise records for wins and games played by a goalie. He has a 3.65 career GAA in 10 games against the Avs, his highest against any team (minimum three games).
Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene scores on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during the second period of an NHL pre-season game Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ottawa coming to town doesn't normally evoke extra excitement. Then again, the Senators have never come to Denver with a former franchise player who demanded to be traded.

Friday night's game at Pepsi Center pits Ottawa center Matt Duchene against his former team, the Colorado Avalanche, more than a year after he was dealt to the Senators in a three-team trade. Duchene was open about not wanting to be with the Avalanche when training camp started in 2017, saying he reported to the team to honor his contract.

A month later, he was with the Senators who, ironically, acquired him just before Colorado and Ottawa played a two-game set in Sweden. So this is the first time since the trade he will play in Denver, where he was an Avalanche for eight-plus seasons after being drafted third overall in the 2009 draft.

"It's a lot of emotions, obviously," Duchene told reporters Thursday. "It's going to be really weird to walk into that rink. The only time I've been in the guest locker room is when we were doing our blood tests in training camp. It's definitely going to be an interesting experience.

"There will be some nerves and some anxiety but once I get on the ice and just play hockey it should be a little easier."

The Avalanche made out well, getting four players and three draft picks from the Senators and Nashville combined. One player, 20-year-old defenseman Samuel Girard, has become one of Colorado's top blueliners.

The Avalanche (6-2-2) turned the page pretty quickly on the Duchene trade, reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years last spring. They've started strong this season despite suffering a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

It was the first time they had been shut out at home since March 2017, and it's not hard to see why they've been able to score. The top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog has been producing points since last season. Wednesday was the first time they were held without a point this season.

Right after the loss the players were focusing on Ottawa.

"Good teams respond, so it obviously (stinks) tonight," defenseman Ian Cole said after the loss to the Lightning. "You know, it's a missed opportunity for us to beat a great hockey team but, like I said, we're going to reassess, have a practice tomorrow and be ready to go come Friday night."

Ottawa (4-3-1) is coming off a 4-1 loss to Boston but had won three straight before facing the Bruins. They are led in scoring by Thomas Chabot (three goals, seven assists) with Duchene third with eight points (one goal, seven assists).

Duchene isn't the only player making a return to Denver. Goaltender Craig Anderson spent a year and a half with the Avalanche and backstopped them to the playoffs in 2010 when he played in a career-high 71 games. He has faced the Avalanche before, so the fans' focus will be on Duchene.

Updated October 26, 2018

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