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Game 69 Preview: Red Wings @ Avalanche

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Meeting for the first time since last year's Stadium Series, the Avalanche (19-46-3) and the Red Wings (26-30-11) have a lot less to play for.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Just over a year ago, the Avalanche and Red Wings met outside at the Coors Light Stadium Series at Coors Field. As the Red Wings skated their way to a 5-3 win over the Avalanche, the winds ripped through Coors Field, tearing up the cotton-like fake snow and scattering it through the stands. Though it was just a novelty at the time, perhaps that wind ripping apart the aesthetics was a sign of things to come for these two teams.

At the time, the Stadium Series was a celebration of the incredible past these two teams had, as they dominated the Western Conference and the NHL throughout the late 1990's and early 2000's before the salary age changed the landscape of the NHL. The Stadium Series game was also a very important regular season game for two teams fighting for their playoff lives. Oh, how things have changed in a year.

While the Red Wings were able to squeeze their way into the playoffs and continue their historic 25-year playoff streak, they were quickly ousted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. This year appears to be the end of that historic streak, however, as the Red Wings have spent much of their season near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and they continue to do so. The Avalanche on the other hand, had an historic collapse, dropping eight of their final nine games and failed to take advantage of a Minnesota Wild team that rolled over during crunch time. The Avs have followed up that collapse with the worse season in team history. For two teams that were once the cream of the crop in the NHL, it's been a very sad season to watch for fans of each rival.

LINES

Rantanen-MacKinnon-Andrighetto

Landeskog-Duchene-Bourque

Mitchell-Compher-Comeau

Colborne-Soderberg-Nieto

Barberio-Johnson

Tyutin-Barrie

Beauchemin-Lindholm

Pickard

Smith

NOTES

- This game was initially supposed to be a nationally televised 8pm MT start, but NBCSN has mercifully saved their viewers from such torture.

Anton Lindholm will make his NHL debut paired with Francois Beauchemin, you know, for he can gain confidence knowing that he isn't the worse defenseman on the team.

- Today's entry for next Avalanche goal song comes from a time when these two teams were good...

GAME INFO

Game time: 7:30pm MT

TV: ALT