With two more home games left before the Olympic break, the Colorado Avalanche want to continue their offensive surge at the Pepsi Center. Hosting an Atlanta Thrashers team that's won three road games since early December could give the Avalanche that opportunity.
Colorado looks to snap a three-game slide to the Thrashers in Denver on Wednesday night when the teams meet for the only time this season.
The Avalanche (33-19-6) look to improve to 3-0 on their four-game homestand following Monday's 5-2 victory over St. Louis. Rookie Brandon Yip scored twice, Chris Stewart had a goal and two assists and Paul Stastny added a goal and an assist as Colorado won for the seventh time in nine games at the Pepsi Center.
The Avs have scored 13 goals in three home games this month after being held to one in their final two of January.
The team's youngsters have provided a major lift.
Despite making his NHL debut Dec. 19, Yip has been a key part of the Avs' push toward the top of the Northwest Division. He has 11 goals with seven assists in 22 games, including four goals in the last five.
"I've just been keeping it simple," Yip said Monday following his third multigoal game of the season. "I've been lucky to play with some great players."
Stewart, who matched a career high with three points Monday, has 33 points in his last 35 games. T.J. Galiardi has two goals and four assists in his last four, and fellow rookie Matt Duchene enters Wednesday trying to extend his point streak to a career-best five.
While Colorado is looking for its fourth straight home victory, Atlanta (25-24-8) will go for its fourth road win since Dec. 5 as it begins a three-game trip. After winning 10 of their first 12 road games this season, the Thrashers are 3-12-3 while giving up an average of 3.7 goals.
Atlanta, though, has won three straight in Denver since a 6-0 loss April 3, 2002. In the Thrashers' last visit to the Pepsi Center, Rich Peverley, Todd White and Zach Bogosian all scored as Atlanta swept the season series with a 3-0 victory March 10.
Kari Lehtonen, who made 35 saves in that matchup, was recalled from the AHL on Sunday but is unlikely to make his season debut Wednesday following offseason back surgery and another back procedure in November.
Johan Hedberg is 0-4-0 lifetime versus the Avalanche and Ondrej Pavelec has never faced them, but he's 0-3-0 with a 3.38 goals-against average in his last three starts overall.
Craig Anderson will likely make his 14th consecutive start in net for Colorado despite getting hit in the shoulder by a puck in the second period Monday.
Niclas Bergfors, acquired from New Jersey on Thursday in the deal for Ilya Kovalchuk, will look to find the back of the net in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 12-14 after scoring his first goal for Atlanta on Saturday.
"It had been a month since I scored a goal," he said. "It was great. It means a lot."
Thrashers center Nik Antropov, who matched a career high with three assists Saturday, has two goals and an assist in his last three games versus Colorado.