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Game 59 Preview: Avalanche @ Predators

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After another close home loss, the Avs (16-39-3) return to the road in Nashville (28-22-9).

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This is not a season of positives, but maybe it's getting better. The last five games the Avs have played have been 2 goal games or less, by far the longest streak of close games for the Avalanche this season. Despite the close games, the Avs are still losing. The results aren't there, but the play is getting better. Just as the Avs are playing their best hockey of the year, the return of their best defenseman waits in the ranks. Erik Johnson is expected to make his return Saturday after suffering a broken leg back in early December. The Avs will have to make it through at least one more game before Johnson returns, as they look to avoid the season sweep Thursday in Nashville.

LINES

Landeskog-MacKinnon-Nieto

Grigorenko-Duchene-Rantanen

Comeau-Mitchell-Iginla

Colborne-Soderberg-Martinsen

Beauchemin-Barrie

Barberio-Goloubef

Wiercioch-Tyutin

Pickard

Smith

NOTES

Mikko Rantanen is on a three-game goal streak.

- The Avs are 7-26-2 with Erik Johnson out of the line-up.

- The next entry for Avs goal song is as Country as I'll get...

GAME INFO

Game time: 6pm MT

TV: ALT