The Avalanche: (42-20-8) / (4-0-1)
The Opponent: Arizona Coyotes (33-29-8) / (3-3-0)
Puck drop: 1:00 p.m. MT
Watch: CNBC, SN360, TVAS, ALT, FS-A
Listen: Altitude 92.5, AM 950
After a game of pure domination by the Colorado Avalanche in the opener of the series, the Arizona Coyotes were able to be a lot more competitive in Game 2. It wasn’t enough as the Avalanche found a way to escape with a 3-2 victory and a two games to nothing lead in the best of seven series.
Nathan MacKinnon looked great as he scored his first goal of the opening round to kick off the scoring in Game 2. Andre Burakovesky broke a 2-2 deadlock with a little less than three minutes remaining in the game to give the Avalanche the win.
With the victory yesterday, the Avalanche are now 6-0 this season in afternoon games while outscoring their opposition 28-11 in the process. They will look to keep the streak going today in an attempt to take a commanding lead in the series.
Coach Bednar made the choice to sit Joonas Donskoi in game two in favor of Tyson Jost and the move paid off in a big way. Jost led the team with three shots on net and scored his first of the postseason early in the second period. He will likely stay in the lineup this afternoon, but we shouldn’t be surprised to see Donskoi return to the lineup for the second game of the back to back.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Vladislav Namestnikov - Nazem Kadri - Valeri Nichushkin
Andre Burakovsky - J.T. Compher - Matt Calvert
Matt Nieto - P.E. Bellemare - Tyson Jost
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Nikita Zadorov
Grubauer played well yesterday but with a comfortable lead in the series, this afternoon would be a good time to give the Avs number one netminder a game off. Coach Bednar doesn’t announce his starter ahead of time but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pavel Francouz in net for the second game of the back to back.
The Coyotes were able to wake up in Game 2 and outplayed the Avalanche for most of the first two periods. For the second straight game, the Jakob Chychrun led the team in shot attempts - a sign that the Coyotes were still unable to generate high-danger offense on a regular basis.
After going 0-6 on with the man advantage through the first two games, Arizona is going to need to get their power play going if they want claw their way back into the series.
Taylor Hall - Christian Dvorak - Phil Kessel
Clayton Keller - Derek Stepan - Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse - Carl Soderberg - Christian Fischer
Vinnie Hinostroza - Brad Richardson - Michael Grabner
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun - Jordan Oesterle
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Alex Goligoski
Kuemper was very strong again in game two so despite the back to back, there is a strong possibility he sees the net again this afternoon. This is a must-win for Arizona so they will likely ride with their best option to win.