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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: The game in hand

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Colorado looks to hold on to wild card position vs Vegas

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche will be facing the Las Vegas Golden Knights in a late night affair at the Pepsi Center. Tonight’s game will once again be on NBCSN so get your popcorn ready North America.

The Avalanche are riding a five-game point streak after losing yet again in OT to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Currently, in the 8th and final playoff spot, the Avalanche have the Arizona Coyotes hot on their tail. Arizona and Colorado both have 81 points with goal differential as the ultimate tiebreaker.

Vegas played back to back games on Saturday and Sunday just like the Avs. They had won ten of their last eleven going into the weekend but lost to Detroit in OT and St. Louis in regulation. That leaves them with an opportunity to clinch yet again tonight in Denver, needing just one point to do so.

Colorado Avalanche

With a win tonight the Avalanche will be within one point of Dallas once more and be two points ahead of Arizona. A loss will send us die-hards back into the pit of misery (Dilly Dilly) as it would open the door for the Yotes to move up in the standings.

Colorado will once again be without captain Gabriel Landeskog and top scorer Mikko Rantanen in tonight’s affair. Nathan MacKinnon has 47 more points than the next highest scoring forward with Landy and Rants out. On the bright side, the Avalanche have responded nicely to losing both players, and some unlikely heroes have really stepped up. Yes, I’m talking about you, Colin Wilson.

WILSON! I’M SORRY WILSON! I was so hard on this guy throughout the year, but he has emerged as a leader in the most critical five games of the season. He has four points in the last five games and was on the ice for 18 and 19 min in a home and home with Chicago. Most importantly he seems to be in the right place at the right time and skating hard.

FORWARDS

Alexander Kerfoot - Nathan MacKinnon - J.T. Compher

Derick Brassard - Tyson Jost - Matt Calvert

Sven Andrighetto - Carl Soderberg - Colin Wilson

Matt Nieto - Andrew Agozzino - Gabriel Bourque

DEFENSE

Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson

Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov - Patrik Nemeth

Las Vegas Golden Knights

Since Vegas made their move in acquiring Mark Stone from Ottawa, they have been on a tear. A player of Stone’s caliber brings a sense of balance to an already talented Vegas squad that has settled in thanks to stout defense and an incredible ability to create scoring opportunities.

The Knights come into this contest looking like a legit Stanley Cup contender again. Crazy to think Vegas fans went from having no team at all, to being Lord Stanley hopefuls from the jump. Safe to say Avs fans can relate!

FORWARDS

Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith

Alex Tuch - Paul Stastny - Mark Stone

Ryan Carpenter - Cody Eakin - Valentin Zykov

William Carrier - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan Reaves

DEFENSE

Nate Schmidt - Deryk Engelland

Brayden McNabb - Nick Holden

Jon Merrill - Colin Miller

GOALTENDING

Tonight we will likely be seeing goaltenders Malcolm Subban and Philipp Grubauer in net.

Subban is coming off a tough outing vs. the red hot blues in which he gave up two goals on 22 shots and is sporting a 7-8-1 record and a 2.91 GAA. The Avalanche scored three goals in their first matchup with Subban and Colorado came out on top by a score of 3-0.

Grubauer has proved vital to the Avs in the push for the playoffs. Add another substantial acquisition to the list for general manager Joe Sakic who has come into his own off the ice. Grubby has only allowed ten goals in his last 10 games, and a less skilled Avalanche squad will be relying heavily on his performance yet again tonight.