Game 66 Preview: Avs vs. Blackhawks

Doug Pensinger

The Avs face the defending Stanley Cup Champions in an important Central Division match-up tonight at 7:30 MT.

Hello, Blackhawks. Long time no see.

Just over a week ago, these two teams met at the United Center. Talbot, O'Reilly, and Barrie scored before Stastny sealed the deal with an empty netter for the 4-2 win. That W clinched the season series in the Avs favor, taking 6 of the 8 points available from the team from Chicago and only ceding 3 in return. The Avs just seem to have their number, especially when not returning from a break. Only 3 teams have given the Hawks more fits this season: St. Louis, Minnesota, and the NY Rangers.

To say tonight will be a "big" game is a bit of an understatement. Unless the standings drastically change in the last 16 or so games of the season, this is a preview of a first round playoff series. Also, a win or an overtime loss for the Avs would move Colorado ahead of Chicago in the standings and one step closer to home ice advantage. On the other hand, a loss would add separation and make overtaking the Hawks that much more difficult down the stretch.

Neither team will be at full strength, however. The injury bug has bitten both clubs, claiming key players like Tanguay, Parenteau, and Stastny for the Avs and Marian Hossa for the Hawks. As a result, the Avalanche recalled two players since their last game: forwards Brad Malone and Paul Carey. Malone played 15 games with the Avs earlier this year, but Carey will be making his NHL debut tonight. According to Coach Roy, both players will be on the 4th line. In case you missed it, our very own earl06 gave us some insight into what Malone and Carey might bring to the lineup tonight.

Also worth noting is that Second City Hockey (the Hawks blog) is doing a stat series focused on the leaders of the Central Division. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here. If you head over to get into the stats vs. systems debate, please be nice. You're representing MHH, and we'd rather not be known as petulant trolls across the SB Nation network.

Projected Lineups:

Blackhawks

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Andrew Shaw
Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell - Peter Regin - Kris Versteeg
Brandon Bollig -Marcus Kruger - Ben Smith

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Antti Raanta

Avalanche

Forwards

Ryan O`Reilly - Matt Duchene - Jamie McGinn
Gabe Landeskog - John Mitchell - Nathan MacKinnon
Jamie McGinn (or Max Talbot, silly typos) - Marc-Andre Cliche - Cody McLeod
Patrick Bordeleau - Brad Malone - Paul Carey

Defensive Pairings

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie
Nate Guenin - Cory Sarich - Andre Benoit

Goaltender

Semyon Varlamov

Game Time:

It's a bit later tonight. Puck drop is at 7:30 MT at the Pepsi Center.

Morning Twitter Updates:


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker