(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets take aim at their first four-game winning streak in nearly 18 months this evening as they travel to Pepsi Center to face the Colorado Avalanche, who swept this season series last year.
Three straight one-goal victories have given the Blue Jackets their longest winning streak since also claiming three straight decisions from Feb. 4-10. Columbus hasn't posted four wins in a row since March 7-13, 2009.
Columbus' most recent triumph came past regulation as it knocked off visiting Edmonton, 3-2, in a shootout on Thursday. Rick Nash and Nikita Filatov both scored in the deciding segment and Steve Mason turned aside both Oiler chances after making 25 saves in regulation and overtime.
"Sometimes you win ugly and sometimes you win in dramatic fashion," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "It was a wild and scrambly game, and I knew it was going to be that kind of game, wide open. It was pretty much what I expected."
While Columbus is on a roll, Colorado tonight seeks to win consecutive games for only the second time this season. The Avalanche halted a three-game slide on Thursday with a 6-5 triumph in Calgary.
"This is a very big win for us," Avs head coach Joe Sacco said. "We had some timely goal scoring."
Peter Budaj made his second straight start after No. 1 netminder Craig Anderson hurt his knee in pregame warmups on Tuesday and made just 14 saves. Budaj will likely be in net again tonight and is 5-4-0 with a 2.47 goals- against average in his career versus Columbus.
Stewart has seven goals and five assists over a seven-game point streak and has four goals in seven career games versus the Blue Jackets. Milan Hejduk also had an assist to run his point streak to five games (3 goals, 6 assists), but John Michael Liles had his assists streak end at nine, an NHL record for a defenseman to start a season.
Colorado, which begins a four-game homestand tonight, outscored Columbus 16-7 in sweeping last year's four-game set, one season after the Blue Jackets took all four meetings. Columbus has still lost five of seven and 15 of 18 in Colorado.
Mason is 2-3-0 with a 3.23 GAA versus Colorado.