Somehow between last game and this one, the Arizona Coyotes have jumped the Colorado Avalanche in the standings. But never to fear, a win today means that the Avs can leapfrog them and come to a tie with the Minnesota Wild — if they lose to the Nashville Predators — for the second wild card spot in the West. Minnesota currently leads in the first tiebreaker: Regulation and Overtime wins, so if that continues, the Avs will need to beat them in outright points in order to get in the playoffs.
Including this game, the Avalanche have 17 games left in 35 days with one back-to-back (at STL, then at home vs Edmonton in early April). Minnesota, on the other hand, has two back-to-backs in their next 17 games in 35 days, in what could qualitatively be called a tougher string of opponents. Optimism rings eternal in this up and down season.
Until further notice, there will be no changes to the lineup that lost 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. Yes, the team got walked over in shots and attempts, but I think the lineup was playing well, all things considered.
Mikko Rantanen - Nathan MacKinnon - Alexander Kerfoot
Derick Brassard - Carl Soderberg - J.T. Compher
Gabriel Landeskog - Tyson Jost - Matt Calvert
Sven Andrighetto - Sheldon Dries - Scott Wilson
Erik Johnson - Samuel Girard
Nikita Zadorov - Ian Cole
Patrik Nemeth - Tyson Barrie
The Ducks are fourth-last in the NHL, eight points up on our first-round draft pick, also known as the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks have lost five in a row and have a goal differential of -60 through 65 games in the season. Ryan Getzlaf is injured, Ryan Kesler is on the fourth line, and this once great power is spinning on a spit over the fire.
Daniel Sprong - Adam Henrique - Corey Perry
Rickard Rakell - Devin Shore - Jakob Silfverberg
Max Jones - Derek Grant - Troy Terry
Nick Ritchie - Ryan Kesler - Carter Rowney
Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson
Brendan Guhle - Cam Fowler
Jaycob Megna - Korbinian Holzer
Semyon Varlamov will probably start for the Avalanche. Varly stopped 36 of 40 shots on Friday night, which is only worth a .900 save percentage, but he’s been much better than that in his last 10 games posting a .930 sv% with a 5-3-2 record.
In net for Anaheim, John Gibson is back. He returned on Friday against the Golden Knights, stopping 31 of 33 for the loss. A classic Gibson game for the Ducks. Gibson’s save percentage was very good for much of the early season, and his advanced numbers are amazing, but as the season’s gone on, his save percentage has dipped to only four points better than Varlamov.