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Nathan MacKinnon returns to New Jersey for first time since being drafted

Nathan MacKinnon will return to New Jersey for the first time since being drafted first-overall by the Colorado Avalanche when the Devils host the Avalanche on Monday night.
Nathan MacKinnon will return to New Jersey for the first time since being drafted first-overall by the Colorado Avalanche when the Devils host the Avalanche on Monday night.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Tonight Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon will return to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for the first time since being selected first-overall at the 2013 NHL draft, hosted by the New Jersey Devils.

MacKinnon lead the Avalanche and all NHL rookies in January with nine goals and four assists for 13 points. If Saturday's win over the Buffalo Sabres was any indication, MacKinnon, who tallied one goal and two assists in the 7-1 victory is likely to continue through February doing the same. The 18-year-old rookie now has 20 goals and 20 assists in his first 54 NHL games.

In their last 10 contests, the Avalanche are 8-2-0 and are on a three-game win steak after defeating the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres since Jan. 27. New Jersey on the other hand is just 4-3-3 in their last 10 and have earned points in 10 of their last 13 outings.

The two teams last met on Jan. 16 when the Avalanche edged the Devils 2-1 in a shootout. Ryan O'Reilly and Reid Boucher both scored in regulation for their clubs. Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique each failed in their shootout attempts against Semyon Varlamov while Matt Duchene and O'Reilly tapped in goals for Colorado.

The game tonight against the New Jersey Devils will kick off Colorado's four-game road trip through the Metropolitan Division which includes stops in New Jersey, Manhattan, Philadelphia and Long Island.

Point Producers:
Gabriel Landeskog has two goals and seven points in his last five games while New Jersey's Patrik Elias has four goals in his last five games. The Devils alternate captain ended January on a two-game point streak where he had two goals and two assists.

Injury Update:

According to NHL.com, Paul Stastny (ankle) and Alex Tanguay (knee) are questionable for Colorado. Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov is also listed as questionable.

Puck drops at 7:30 ET in Newark. Watch the game live on NBCSN.