Who: St. Louis Blues (20-8-6)
Where: Enterprise Center - St. Louis, Missouri
Puck drop: 6:00 pm MT
Watch: Altitude, Sportsnet
Back to their winning ways, the Colorado Avalanche travel to St. Louis tonight to take on the Blues in a matchup for first place in the Western Conference. Separated by only one point in the standings, both teams come into this game having won two in a row. The Blues have beaten the Avalanche 16 of their last 19 meetings - it might be time to reverse that trend.
The Blues won the first meeting between these divisional rivals back in October, so the Avs will be looking for a bit of revenge against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Despite that loss, the Avalanche have been the better team this season so they will look to get a big win tonight on the road and make a statement that they really are the team to beat in the West.
Going nine games without a regulation loss, the Avalanche have been doing a very good job of banking points for the playoffs. That said, nine of the team’s 12 losses have some against the Western Conference. If they want to remain as one of the top-dogs in the West, these are the type of games they need to start winning.
We don’t expect any lineup changes from Friday night as both Erik Johnson and Cale Makar are still not cleared for contact. The team has called up Anton Lindholm from the Eagles to be the 7th defender on this two-game road trip.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Joonas Donskoi - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Valeri Nichushkin - P.E. Bellemare - Matt Calvert
Matt Nieto - Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher
Samuel Girard - Nikita Zadorov
Mark Barberio - Ian Cole
Ryan Graves - Calle Rosen
St. Louis Blues
The Blues don’t seem to be suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover as they have maintained their spot atop the Central Division for most of the season. David Perron leads the way with 30 goals in 34 games while Brayden Schenn’s 14 goals are tops on the team.
With speculation swirling about the future of Alex Pietrangelo in a Blues uniform, many believe that Doug Armstrong is going to make one last push (apparently he’s been among the most aggressive for Taylor Hall) to get another cup before the Blues are forced to take a step back towards a bit of a re-build.
Alex Steen - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron
Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Jordan Kyrou
Ivan Barbashev - Robert Thomas - Tyler Bozak
MacKenzie MacEachern - Jacob De La Rose - Oskar Sundqvist
Colton Parayko - Alex Peitrangelo
Jay - Bouwmeester - Justin Faulk
Vince Dunn - Robert Bortuzzo
With Pavel Francouz missing Sunday’s practice due to illness, it appears as though Philipp Grubauer is ready to make his first start since December 7th. Hopefully there won’t be too much rust on the team’s top goaltender.
For the Blues we’re expected to see Jordan Binnington. He comes in with a 15-6-4 record and a .919 sv% on the season. Binnington held the Avalanche to only one goal the last time these two teams met.