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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: A must-win in St. Louis

In a tight race for the Western Conference Wildcard race, the Avalanche need a big win on the road tonight

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

With 13 games remaining for both the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Luis Blues, tonight’s is a huge game for both teams as the Central Division rivals fight for a Wildcard position in the Western Conference.

After a free fall down the standings, the St. Louis Blues have now won two in a row and sit only three points behind the Avalanche for the final playoff spot. A win in regulation for wither team would see a four point swing in the standings.

The Avalanche are 0-3 against the Blues this season, so tonight would be a great time to get a big win, especially since they Avs are heading home to face the West leading Nashville Predators on Friday night. With points in eight consecutive games, the Avalanche are staying hot, even with their best defenseman on the shelf with a separated shoulder.

The Scottrade Center has not been friendly to the Avalanche as they have lost five straight and 13 of the past 15 games in St. Louis.

Colorado Avalanche

With another goal Tuesday night, Nathan MacKinnon continues to pile up the points as he builds his case for the Hart Trophy. The team’s MVP is now up to 82 points in only 61 games and he will look to close the gap in the scoring race tonight against the Blues.

Both Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher are getting comfortable at just the right time. The rookies combined for three goals against the Wild and are finally starting to provide the secondary scoring depth that the Avs need. With coach Bednar unable to work the matchups on the road, the team needs the Jost/Compher to carry a big load.

With points in his last seven games, Tyson Barrie has been able to step up and carry the load while Erik Johnson remains out with his shoulder injury.

Projected Lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon- Mikko Rantanen

Sven Andrighetto - Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau

Gabriel Bourque - Alexander Kerfoot - Nail Yakupov

Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Barrie

Samuel Girard - Duncan Siemens

Patrik Nemeth - Anton Lindholm

St. Louis Blues

After Nashville, the St. Louis Blues have given up the fewest goals against in the Western Conference. In contrast to the Avalanche, the Blues are a team that is built on winning close, low scoring games.

This is a much different team than the one that was near the top of the Central Division through the first half of the season. After a long losing streak that saw the team trade away their Paul Stastny, the Blues are trying to right the ship - having won 3 of their last five games.

Though he has cooled off lately - only one goal in the past month - Brayden Schenn is tied for the team’s scoring lead with Vladimir Tarasenko.

Projected Lineup:

Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko

Alex Steen - Kyle Brodziak - Patrik Berglund

Dmitrij Jaskin - Vladimir Sobotka - Tage Thompson

Nikita Soshnikov - Ivan Barbashev - Chris Thorburn

Vince Dunn - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko

Jordan Schmaltz - Robert Bortuzzo

Starting Goalies

It is expected that Semyon Varlamov is going to be in net for the Avalanche. After a bounce-back performance in Minnesota, Varlamov is 19-13-6 on the season with a .914 sv%.

In the opposite net, we are going to see Jake Allen who has a 21-20-2 record this season and a .907 sz%.