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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Visiting the Champs

The Colorado Avalanche visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first game of a back to back

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche continue their eastern road trip this evening as they roll into Pittsburgh to take on the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Avs are coming off of a big 7-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night and they’ll be hoping to get a win against the Penguins to ensure a split on their road trip.

The Avalanche will look to continue the trend these two teams started last season of the road team winning each meeting.

Colorado’s struggling offense broke out in a big way over the weekend and the hope is that they can keep filling the net against a Penguins team that has given up the second most goals against in the Eastern Conference.

Colorado Avalanche

Good news, as Erik Johnson looks to be ok after leaving Saturday night’s game when he blocked a shot late in the third. The veteran defender is in the top-5 in the league in ice time and would be an insurmountable loss if he were to miss any time.

With only two wins in their last 8 games, the Avs will hope to build on a good effort in Florida over the weekend.

Nathan MacKinnon continues to be dominant this season, but if the Avs are going to have a chance tonight, they are going to need a few goals from their supporting group - seven even-strength goals from seven different players in their last game is a great sign.

Coach Bednar is going to run with 11 forwards and seven defenders again tonight.

Projected Lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost - Alexander Kerfoot - J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau

Sven Andrighetto - Colin Wilson

Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth - Tyson Barrie

Samuel Girard - Mark Barberio

Anton Lindholm

Pittsburgh Penguins

Despite a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, the Penguins are 10-4-1 at home this season.

These are not the same Pens as last year. They’re still pretty good, but they sit 5th place in their division and a large part of that is due to depth issues. They’re a team that has two of the best centers in the world, unfortunately, that’s all they have down the middle. Both Riley Sheahan and Carter Rowney are fringe NHLers at best.

There’s a reason the Pens were in on the Matt Duchene talks earlier this season.

Get to know a little more about the Pens from our friends at

Projected Lineup:

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary

Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Dominik Simon - Riley Sheahan - Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin - Carter Rowney - Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang

Olli Maatta - Matt Hunwick

Ian Cole - Chad Ruhwedel

Starting Goalies

It looks like the Avalanche are going with Jonathan Bernier tonight - with Semyon Varlamov getting back between the pipes tomorrow. Johnny Berns is 4-6-1 on the season with a .891 sv%.

For the Penguins, Tristan Jarry is going to be back between the pipes for the Penguins after being pulled on Saturday night. Jarry is 5-1-2 with a .917 sv% while doing a great job of filling in for the injured Matt Murray.

How to Watch/Listen

As always the game will be on Altitude, puck drop at 5:00 pm MST. It will also be the national broadcast in Canada on Sportsnet.

You can also listen to the game with our friend Marc Moser on Altitude Sports Radio 950AM