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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: A bunch of jerks are coming to town

The Carolina Hurricanes come to town looking to re-establish themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche passed their first test with Gabriel Landeskog out of the lineup when they shut out the Buffalo Sabres Saturday afternoon. Now they will look to keep the momentum going as the Carolina Hurricanes come to town.

With both team currently fighting for a Wild Card position in their respective conferences, tonight’s game at the Pepsi Center should have a playoff feel to it. Neither team can afford to go home without point, so expect a tight-checking, hard fought battle.

The Avalanche won the first meeting between the two clubs back in October on the back of a tremendous 42-save effort from Philipp Grubauer.


Colorado Avalanche

Not only did the Avalanche beat the Buffalo Sabres Saturday afternoon, but they absolutely dominated them, outshooting their opponent 43-18. Buffalo is a bad team, but it was still a great sign in Colorado’s first game since their captain went down with an injury that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

It was the secondary guys that were able to pick up the slack with Landeskog out of the lineup. Tyson Jost, Derick Brassard and J.T. Compher led the way with 5 shots on net each.

Sheldon Dries was sent back to the AHL over the weekend so we are going to see both Gabriel Bourque and Sven Andrighetto on the fourth line again tonight.

Forwards

Derick Brassard - Nathan MacKinnon - J.T. Compher

Colin Wilson - Carl Soderberg - Mikko Rantanen

Alexander Kerfoot - Tyson Jost - Matt Calvert

Sven Andrighetto - Andrew Agozzino - Gabriel Bourque

Defense

Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson

Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov - Patrik Nemeth


Carolina Hurricanes

Really what do you need to know about this team other than the fact that they’re making hockey a hell of a lot of fun. The fact that it’s pissing off the old “hockey men” makes me hope Carolina makes it to the playoffs so they can show off their post-game celebrations on a national stage.

Forwards

Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Justin Williams

Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook

Warren Foegele - Greg McKegg - Saku Maenalanen

Defense

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan - Trevor van Riemsdyk


Starting goaltenders

Philipp Grubauer was tremendous for the Avs in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Canes back in October. Now he’s coming off of a shutout against Buffalo on Saturday so it’s a no brainer that he will be in net tonight. Grubauer appears to be turning his season around after allowing only two goals total in his last three starts.

For Carolina, we are likely to see Petr Mrazek between the pipes. He is on a personal five-game winning streak including a win in Nashville Saturday night.