The Avalanche: (42-20-8) / (6-3-1)
The Opponent: Dallas Stars: (37-24-8) / (7-4-0)
Puck drop: 8:30 p.m. MT
Watch: NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NHL.tv
Listen: Altitude 92.5, AM 950
Tonight’s will undoubtedly be the biggest game of the season thus far for the Colorado Avalanche. Trailing their second round series 2-0, the Avs face a must-win scenario in Game 3.
After a bit of a lackluster effort in the series opener, the Avalanche were the better team through most of Game 2, unfortunately, Anton Khudobin did his best Darcy Kuemper impression and stole the game for the Stars.
Nathan MacKinnon has been the best player on either team through the first two games of the series. Unfortunately, Colorado’s top line has been forced to do all the heavy lifting as the rest of the team hasn’t looked nearly as good as they did against Arizona. If the Avalanche want to win Game 3, they are going to need some scoring from anyone other than the Big-3.
On Tuesday afternoon, coach Jared Bednar mentioned that part of him wants to see what the youngsters - Conor Timmins, Bo Byram and Shane Bowers - can do in the playoffs, but that he is going to stick with the veterans for Game 3.
Based on how they played the first half of the game, the coach thinks the vets deserve a chance to turn this series around.
Matt Calvert and Erik Johnson are still listed as day-to-day.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Tyson Jost - JT Compher - Valeri Nichushkin
Matt Nieto - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Vladislav Namestnikov
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Samuel Girard - Ian Cole
Kevin Connauton - Nikita Zadorov
Anton Khudobin held the Stars in Game 2 long enough for his team to find their footing. After falling behind early, Dallas was able to capitalize on two power plays that turned the tide and led to five unanswered goals.
Projected Lines from Last Game
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Joe Pavelski - Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Roope Hintz - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera - Taylor Fedun