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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Vegas returns to Ball Arena

NHL: JUN 08 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round - Golden Knights at Avalanche
DENVER, CO - JUNE 08: Vegas Golden Knights center Nicolas Roy (10) collides with Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) during a Stanley Cup Playoffs second round game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on June 8, 2021.
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche (2-3-0) will play against the Golden Knights (1-4-0) tonight at 6pm MT on ESPN. This will be their first meeting with Vegas since being eliminated in the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

The Avalanche comes into tonight’s contest, still looking to establish identity. The fabled top line of MacKinnon, Landeskog, and Rantanen seemed to come back to life in the shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, but we still haven’t seen a showing that resembles last season’s dominance from this years squad.

The Avalanche recalled former Big Red Bear Jacob MacDonald to replace an injured Samuel Girard who took a questionable hit from Lightning Superstar Steven Stamkos on Saturday. Girard also took a nasty spill into the boards against Florida while chasing down an icing play.

Note: Avalanche defender Devon Toews has been cleared for “controlled contact,” according to head coach Jared Bednar.

FORWARDS

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - J.T. Compher
Sampo Ranta - Tyson Jost - Logan O’Connor
Jayson Megna - Darren Helm - Martin Kaut

DEFENDERS

Bowen Byram - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Erik Johnson
Jacob MacDonald - Ryan Murray

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

The Knights come into tonight’s contest with a 1-4 record, having lost four straight games. Like the Avalanche, Vegas will be without some key contributors tonight. Due to injury, Alex Tuch, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alec Martinez are all out of the lineup.

FORWARDS

Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Peyton Krebs - Chandler Stephenson - Mattias Janmark
Evgeni Dadonov - Nicolas Roy - Keegan Kolesar
Will Carrier - Jake Leschyshyn - Brett Howden

DEFENDERS

Nicolas Hague - Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore - Daniil Miromanov
Brayden McNabb - Dylan Coghlan

GOALTENDING

The Avalanche will likely start new goaltender Darcy Kuemper for the second straight contest. Kuemper is coming off arguably his best performance against the Lightning, which featured a highlight goal-saving stick save.

Vegas will go with starter Robin Lehner who comes into the contest with a save percentage of .904, allowing an average of 3.28 goals a game. Lehner earned the starting role after Vegas traded Vezina winning Marc Andre Fleury to Chicago in a surprise off-season move.