Preview: Predators at Avalanche, Game 2

Bruce Bennett

The Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0) look to start a winning streak as they face the Nashville Predators (0-1-0), who come into the Pepsi Center on the second game of a back-to-back. This is the first of four meetings between the two sides.

Nathan MacKinnon looked superb last game. So did Seth Jones.

And now, just two games in, they meet for the first time in the NHL.

According to On the Forecheck, Jones was more than promising: "He looked completely at ease out there, whether working the power play, rushing the puck through center, or working in the defensive zone." Despite this, the Preds lost 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues.

Like it or not, the comparisons between the two will be made throughout the entire year. But the Avs don't care about that. They just want to win. And with perhaps the most explosive up-and-coming top nine in the NHL, they look to do just that tonight.

Colorado will display the same lineup from the season opener:

UPDATE: Landeskog out with leg injury.  Cliche in.

  • O'Reilly - Duchene - Downie
  • Landeskog Mitchell - Stastny - Tanguay
  • McGinn - MacKinnon - Parenteau
  • Bordeleau - Mitchell Cliche- McLeod
  • Johnson - Hejda
  • Sarich - Benoit
  • Barrie - Guenin
  • Varlamov

Originally, Patrick Roy was going to give Nick Holden a shot, but after Nate Guenin's steady play against his former team, the Anaheim Ducks, he's slated to play once again.

Gabriel Landeskog suffered a minor leg injury and missed practice. As of this writing, it's unclear what his status is. Stay tuned. Ryan Wilson is still out with the knee. On the other side, Victor Stalberg remains on the injured reserve. The high-ceiling youngster Filip Forsberg is day-to-day and missed yesterday's game.

Players to watch:

  • Semyon Varlamov - Can he replicate his elite play from Wednesday? Or more importantly, will the defense tighten up so he doesn't have to?
  • Shea Weber & Roman Josi - The pair developed together wonderfully last season, and if their first game against the St. Louis Blues is any indication, that trend will continue this year. How will the Avs respond to a team with a star defenseman in Weber, and the soon-to-be star in Josi?
  • Patrick Roy - OK, so he's not a player. But you can bet your cat that the hockey world will be watching him. In a single game, Roy put the Avs on the map and gave them an identity. Read the blogs. Browse Twitter. No matter where you go, hockey fans are excited about Colorado - and Roy is a big reason why. While he may not erupt like last game - something Avs fans responded well to - it will be interesting to see him develop as an NHL coach over the course of the year. Remember, MacKinnon's not the only rookie in town.

For Colorado, this marks the first game against a Central Division rival. MacKinnon vs. Jones. Offense vs. Defense. Roy vs. Trotz. Who will come out on top?


7:00 PM MT/9:00 PM ET

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