The Avalanche: (9-6-1)
The Opponent: Arizona Coyotes (9-7-3)
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. MT
Watch: ALT, ESPN+, FS-A
Listen: [Radio] Altitude 92.5, AM 950
After losing two in a row, the Colorado Avalanche look to get back in the win column as they head to Arizona for a back-to-back set with the Coyotes this weekend.
With their two games postponed earlier this month, the series this weekend will be the first of eight matchup between these two teams as both hope to fight their way up the West Division standings.
After splitting a four game series with the Vegas Golden Knights, the Avalanche put up a stinker this past Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild dropping a 6-2 decision in what was one of their worst games so far this season.
Brandon Saad missed Wednesday’s game to be with his wife while the couple welcomed their baby into the world. The team didn’t practice yesterday so there has been no official update on his status but according to Avs PR, Saad was expected to travel with the team and be available for the games this weekend.
Jacob MacDonald has been recalled on emergency loan while Kiefer Sherwood and Hunter Miska have been called up from the AHL to fill out the roster on the road trip.
This will also be the first game we will see some Avalanche fans in the stands all season. Arizona is one of the few teams allowing fans into arenas right now, and some Avs faithful have made trip Southwest to cheer on the team.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Matt Calvert - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Andre Burakovsky - J.T. Compher - Val Nichushkin
Tyson Jost - P.E. Bellemare - Logan O’Connor
Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Bo Byram - Samuel Girard
Ryan Graves - Conor Timmins
The Coyotes come off a resilient game against the Anaheim Ducks, coming back from 3-0 down with three goals in the third period, eventually winning 4-3 in the shootout. The Yotes have a lot of momentum on their side, winning their last two games. They will look to pounce on the current cold streak the Avalanche are on and win three straight in front of their fans in Arizona.
With a win tonight, Arizona would leapfrog the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues and be tied for first in the division with 23 points with the Vegas Golden Knights. There’s a lot at stake for the Coyotes tonight, looking to make their claim for a playoff spot come May.
Clayton Keller — Nick Schmaltz — Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse — Christian Dvorak — Tyler Pitlick
Drake Caggiula — Derick Brassard — Phil Kessel
Christian Fischer — Johan Larsson — John Hayden
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Ilya Lyubushkin
Jakob Chychrun — Alex Goligoski
Jordan Oesterle — Niklas Hjalmarsson
It is unknown as of yet whether Jared Bednar will rest Phillip Grubauer for Hunter Miska for the first of this two game back-to-back with the Coyotes. Whoever doesn’t get the start will likely get the start for tomorrow night’s matchup. The Coyotes look set to go with Darcy Kuemper in net after keeping his team in the game Wednesday night against the Ducks.
Tonight is a big win for the Avs looking to bounce back from two defeats in a row. Let’s give some Avs fans in the stands tonight something to cheer for. Let’s go Avs!
UPDATE: Hunter Miska will get the start tonight for the Avalanche against his old team