Avalanche vs. Canucks preview: Northwest rivals meet for 1st time this season

Jeff Gross

The Colorado Avalanche (2-3-0) will face the Vancouver Canucks (2-2-2) for the first time this season at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night.

The two Northwest Division rivals will meet a total of four times this season.

Colorado will be entering the contest without the aide of captain Gabriel Landeskog as he is still dealing with issues related to his head and leg. Wednesday night will mark the second consecutive game Landeskog has missed since absorbing a punishing hit from San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart.

While the Avalanche have yet to specify the extent of Landeskog's injuries, one would have to imagine that he suffered a concussion. He is currently considered day-to-day.

In terms of the team, Colorado has struggled to score goals and will be entering the night tied for the fewest "goals for" this season (10). The power play has also struggled, converting on one of eight opportunities this season (ranked 29th in league with a 6.7 conversion rate). In addition, the penalty kill is ranked 24th, having successfully neutralized only 71 percent of their infractions.

However, the team is tied for the sixth fewest goals allowed this season (13), which is a positive.

Vancouver has struggled to keep pucks out of the net this season, as they are ranked in the bottom third of the league in goals allowed (tied for 22nd with 19). The team's penalty kill has also struggled, as they are only killing off 69.2 percent of their penalties (ranked 26th).

With all the attention focused on Vancouver's goaltender situation this season, head coach Alan Vigneault has split time between Cory Schneider (2-2-0; .897 save percentage, 3.13 GAA) and Roberto Luongo somewhat evenly despite the belief that Schneider was going to be the team's undisputed No. 1.

Luongo (0-0-2, three games played; .917 save percentage, 2.21 GAA) will be making his third start of the season on Wednesday night and will face Semyon Varlamov who will be making his sixth consecutive start of the year (2-3-0; .919 save percentage, 2.59 GAA).

The game is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m., ET and will be broadcast on Altitude 2, as well as Sportsnet Pacific.

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