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Avalanche eye home-and-home sweep of Coyotes

Sportsnaut
Jan 14, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) scores the game winning goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (50) in the overtime shootout at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) scores the game winning goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (50) in the overtime shootout at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche look to bring their home success on the road when they visit the Arizona Coyotes in the second half of a back-to-back, home-and-home set on Saturday.

The Avalanche took the opener 4-3 in a shootout in Denver on Friday, earning their 13th consecutive win on home ice. Colorado is 8-6-2 as the visitor.

“Whenever you’re winning 13 in a row at home, a lot of things are working,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We’re getting the goaltending we need, special teams, power play’s been good over that stretch — with probably the exception over the last couple games when it’s just been OK. Not quite good enough.

“But five-on-five, different contributions, different guys, good depth going through the lineup, and the top guys have been playing real well and capitalizing on their chances.”

Colorado is 6-0-1 in its past seven games and 11-1-1 in its past 13.

Nazem Kadri scored the shootout winner for the Avalanche and has been on a tear since the end of November. He produced six goals and 17 assists in a 13-game point streak that ended against Arizona, as shootout goals are not part of the official stats.

“The year he’s having is just incredible,” Avalanche forward Tyson Jost said. “You just look at that shootout move, the patience he has with the puck and the skill and the poise. It’s pretty outstanding. He does it on a daily basis every night. He’s doing something that’s pretty special with the puck.”

The Coyotes scored three unanswered goals after the Avalanche jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Colorado tied it.

Despite the loss, the Coyotes are hoping to build off the effort.

“I think (Clayton) Keller’s short-handed goal, that was something that we really rallied around and got us some momentum,” said Arizona assistant coach Phil Housley, who is running the bench with head coach Andre Tourigny in COVID-19 protocol. “All in all, I think you’ve got to give it to our guys.”

Arizona is 3-2-2 in its past seven games and earned points in consecutive games for the second time during that stretch. The Coyotes will be looking to extend a point streak to three games for only the third time this season.

“If we work hard and play for each other, then even when we’re down two goals we can keep our heads up,” said Coyotes goalie Ivan Prosvetov, who saved 44 of 47 shots Friday. “Our veteran guys were doing a good job of pushing us.”

Goaltender Karel Vejmelka (4-13-1, 3.17 goals-against average) could get the start for Arizona on Saturday.

Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper, who played four seasons with the Coyotes before being traded in the offseason, is expected to start in what would be his first game against his former team.

Pavel Francouz was in net for Colorado on Friday, and he yielded three goals on 26 shots.

Including a five-game victory in a 2020 Western Conference first-round playoff series, the Avalanche are 11-2-1 in their past 14 games against the Coyotes.

–Field Level Media