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SUNRISE (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida Panthers stressed before the season that getting off to a good start was imperative in their quest to make the playoffs.
The Panthers have points in five of their eight games and will look to add to that total against the struggling Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche are looking to avoid a fourth straight loss as they begin a three-game road trip against the Panthers on Tuesday.
Colorado has produced nine goals in its last five contests after opening the season by scoring 10 times in its first two games and is averaging fewer than 26 shots, which ranks near the bottom of the NHL.
The Avalanche let a third-period lead get away in a 4-3 loss to previously winless Columbus on Saturday.
“It’s just a matter right now to manage our game a little bit better,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy told reporters. “And I think that could make a big difference between losing and winning. Because we’re doing a lot of good things out there.”
Florida snapped a three-game slide with a solid 6-2 victory at Dallas on Saturday and plays the next three on home ice, where it is 2-1-0.
Talented center Aleksander Barkov missed the last game and reportedly is out 2-4 weeks with a right hand injury.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (2-4-1): Colorado scored four times on the power play in its first two contests but has capitalized on just 3-of-22 opportunities since and is 1-of-10 in the last two games.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the team with seven points and veteran Jarome Iginla, who on Tuesday is expected to become the 35th player in NHL history to play his 1,400th career game, has recorded three goals and two assists.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie is eligible to return after serving a three-game suspension for an illegal hit.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (4-3-1): Nick Bjugstad took Barkov’s spot on the top line between Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau on Saturday, and the trio clicked for six points.
The 43-year-old Jagr has scored 728 career goals – three behind Marcel Dionne for third place on the all-time list – and leads the team with six tallies and 10 points.
Roberto Luongo likely will return to the crease after Al Montoya improved to 2-0-0 on Saturday – leading coach Gerard Gallant to tell reporters, “From Day 1, we haven’t had a bad game in goal.”
- Luongo is tied with Grant Fuhr for ninth in NHL history with 403 wins and needs 4:04 of ice time to reach 50,000 minutes in his career.
- Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog has gone four contests without a point after recording six in the first three games of the campaign.
- The teams split their two meetings last season, with each winning on the road.
The Panthers face the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:30 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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