The Colorado Avalanche are going to be looking for a little revenge tonight as the NHL leading Tampa Bay Lightning come to town riding a six-game winning streak. The Avs fell 5-2 to Steven Stamkos and crew last week in Tampa, so they will be looking for some payback on home ice.
Tonight’s game should be a treat as it features some of the best players in the game. It’s always fun when you get a chance to watch Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Brayden Point, but beyond that, we get to watch the top two primary point producers in the NHL go head to head.
Nikita Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon sit one and two in the league for primary points this season as each has turned into an undeniable superstar.
Tonight is Star Wars night at the Pepsi Center and in case you missed it, we took some time to explain where the Avalanche players fit into the Star Wars universe.
The Avalanche have been good at home this season. Their 9-5-0 record at the Pepsi Center has helped the team stay above .500, but more importantly, the play of Nathan MacKinnon is what is keeping the Avs respectable.
MacKinnon scored both the goals for Colorado in their victory over the Panthers Thursday night. He has taken the next step in his development and there is no longer any doubt who is the on-ice leader of this team.
Some more good news is that Tyson Jost is starting to look a lot more comfortable. He’s finally looking like a player that looks ready for the NHL and has been one of the Avs better players over the past three games - despite still not getting a ton of ice time.
"We want to play our best lineup every night. If that's 12 and six or 11 and seven, then that's what we will do."
Coach Bednar won’t commit to any regularity in his lineup, but let’s hope he sticks with 11 forwards as it means they double-shift MacK - something this team needs. I suspect they will continue to run with 11/7 until Alex Kerfoot is able to return to the lineup.
Gabriel Landeskog- Nathan MacKinnon- Mikko Rantanen
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau
Gabriel Bourque - J.T. Compher - Tyson Jost
Colin Wilson - Sven Andrighetto
Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson
Patrik Nemeth - Tyson Barrie
Samuel Girard - Mark Barberio
Starting goalie: Semyon Varlamov (10-8-1, .906 sv%)
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are good...really, really good. That’s really all we need to know.
If you do need to know more, check out the great preview from our friends at Raw Charge here.
Vladislav Namestnikov — Steven Stamkos — Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn — Yanni Gourde — Cory Conacher
Chris Kunitz — Cedric Paquette — JT Brown
Victor Hedman — Jake Dotchin
Mikhail Sergachev — Anton Stralman
Slater Koekkoek — Dan Girardi
Starting Goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy (21-4-1, .934 sv%)
How to Watch/Listen
As always the game will be on Altitude, puck drop at 7:00 pm MST.
You can also listen to the game with our friend Marc Moser on Altitude Sports Radio 950AM