|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 16, 2019
Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, Ontario Attendance: 14,468
New dad Duchene sentimental ahead of Senators-Avalanche matchup
Whenever Matt Duchene plays the Colorado Avalanche, it will be special. Colorado drafted him third overall in 2009 and he spent eight-plus seasons with the organization before demanding a trade that sent him to the Ottawa Senators in 2017.
But Wednesday's game against the Avalanche in Ottawa will have tons of meaning for the Senators center. Not only is it his 28th birthday, but also it is the first time he is playing since the birth of his son on Jan. 9. Duchene missed Ottawa's three-game road trip through California to be with his wife, Ashley, when she gave birth to Beau.
Ottawa (17-24-5) won two of the three road games, including a 2-1 OT win at Anaheim the day Beau was born. The team dedicated the win to the Duchene, and the team posted on its Twitter page a picture of Colin White, who scored the winning goal, holding the puck with Beau's name written on it.
"My wife and I were both almost teared up about that," Duchene told The Ottawa Sun. "It was something really cool. It's one of those things where they boys are on the road, and you're going through something yourself, and there's a little part of you that wishes you could do both. For them to get that big win in Anaheim and have that puck with his name on it that was pretty special. I'm going to track that (puck) down and see if it's hanging around."
The novelty of playing against the Avalanche is starting to wear off. Wednesday will be the fourth time facing his former team since the trade in November 2017. Ironically, the trade happened on the eve of the teams playing a two-game set in Sweden.
The other meeting was Oct. 26 in Denver when Colorado overcame two early goals by Duchene to win, 6-3. Both teams have gone 2-6-2 over their last 10 games and will try to break out of their extended slumps. In addition to getting Duchene back, who is second on the team with 42 points, defenseman Thomas Chabot will play for the first time since Dec. 28. He is third on the team in scoring with 38 points.
Colorado (21-17-8) is also getting healthier. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov returned in Monday's win at Toronto after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury, and defenseman Patrik Nemeth is set to return after missing two games due to illness.
It is rare bright news for the Avalanche of late. They have just two wins in their last 11 games, but the 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs on Monday could be a confidence-builder. The game was tied late in the third period when Carl Soderberg scored a go-ahead goal. Colorado added two more into an empty net, one of which gave Soderberg his first career hat trick.
It was a good sign, too, that Colorado won with a majority of the scoring coming from somewhere other than the top line. The Avalanche have been putting plenty of shots on net in the first four games of this road trip but hadn't been able to cash in until Monday.
"I do think the effort has been there the last four or five games. But when you're going through something like this, it seems like lately we need the perfect game to win and within the perfect game you need individual efforts here and there," captain Gabe Landeskog said after the win. "Guys stepped up (Monday) night and hopefully we can turn the page, move on to Ottawa and look to get another one."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 15, 2019