The Colorado Avalanche are clicking in the offensive zone. The New Jersey Devils certainly can't say the same.
The Avalanche will try to keep both trends going Monday night in New Jersey as they open a four-game East Coast swing heading into the Olympic break.
A 7-1 home win over Buffalo on Saturday gave the Avalanche (35-14-5) 16 goals during a three-game winning streak.
"It was our last game before the Olympic break in front of our fans," coach Patrick Roy told the team's official website. "And our players wanted to please our fans as well. It was exciting for everybody."
Gabriel Landeskog and Jamie McGinn each scored twice while Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists. MacKinnon, who leads all rookies in goals (20) and points (40), has scored in three straight games for the first time.
"I've been feeling more comfortable. I think I was a little snake-bit at the beginning and could've score more than I did," MacKinnon said after the first three-point game of his career gave him seven during a four-game point streak. ''Thankfully things are clicking, I've developed chemistry with guys on the team.''
Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to improve to 4-0-0 in his last five games. He also started Jan. 16 against New Jersey and made 33 stops in a 2-1 shootout win.
The Devils (23-21-12) have six wins in 22 games against the Western Conference. Friday's 3-2 overtime loss at Nashville dropped them to 1-2-1 since Jan. 26, and they've scored eight goals in that span.
They were 11 seconds away from a regulation win against the Predators but couldn't hold on in the final minute after Patrik Elias and Jaromir Jagr gave them a 2-1 second-period lead.
"It happens to everybody," coach Peter DeBoer told the Devils' official website. "You guys all look for tendencies; they can't hold the lead, they can't score. You know what? Give me a break. It's four games in six nights. We battled hard. We got an unfortunate bounce at the end. We'll take the point and we'll move on."
Elias and Jagr assisted each other along with linemate Travis Zajac. All three have consecutive two-point games.
Cory Schneider made 30 saves and allowed three goals for the first time in 12 games. He's 6-2-3 in that span with a 1.47 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.
One of those overtime losses came in his 37-save effort against the Avalanche, but he'll get another chance to face Colorado on Monday. Dating back to his days in Vancouver, Schneider is 6-1-2 with a 1.54 GAA and .952 save percentage in his career against the Avalanche.
Colorado, however, is 4-0-1 against the Devils since Jan. 16, 2010. New Jersey has scored six goals in those games.
Avalanche center Paul Stastny (ankle) and right wing Alex Tanguay (knee) were scratched against the Sabres and are questionable to start the road trip.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov could also miss the game after suffering a lower-body injury in Nashville.