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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Clash of titans with Golden Knights

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Honda West rivals look to take a step toward supremacy.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights will meet for a west division showdown. The Avalanche are coming off a disappointing overtime defeat while Vegas looks to improve upon their 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. With both teams sitting at the top of the division, this sets up as the most crucial game and series of the season for both teams.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche are just two points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights. A regulation win in tonight’s contest would put the Avs in a position to take the number one spot with another victory on Saturday. That number one spot in the West has gotten more valuable as the season has worn on. With more and more arenas allowing fans, a game seven at Ball Arena is a definite possibility. We will be watching playoff hockey before you know it as the Avalanche have twenty-five games to play in forty-six calendar days.

Bo Byram will be back in the lineup while Matt Calvert will sit for Logan O’Connor.

The Avalanche may have lost their last contest, but it had very little to do with their skaters’ performance. Colorado seemingly still hasn’t filled the backup goaltending role adequately. The Avalanche are 7-2-1 in their last ten, with all seven victories coming with Philipp Grubauer between the pipes.

FORWARDS

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Brandon Saad - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky

Valeri Nichushkin - Tyson Jost - Joonas Donskoi

LOC - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - JTC

DEFENSE

Devon Toews - Cale Makar

Jacob MacDonald - Sam Girard

Ryan Graves - Bo Byram

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights have been one of the league’s best teams throughout this abridged regular season. They have seen the resurgence of goaltender Marc Andre Fleury and taken full advantage of that. Robin Lehner was the starter to begin the season, but after Lehner sustained an injury, Fleury got another crack and hasn’t looked back.

Vegas scored four unanswered goals in their win over the St. Louis Blues, getting goals from both Mark Stone and William Karlsson. Mark Stone is among the top ten point scorers in the NHL (38pts).

FORWARDS

Alex Tuch - Chandler Stephenson - Mark Stone

Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith

Nicolas Roy - Thomas Nosek - Keegan Kolesar

William Carrier - Patrick Brown - Ryan Reeves

DEFENDERS

Alec Martinez - Shae Theodore

Brayden McNabb - Nick Holden

Nicolas Hague - Zach Whitecloud

GOALTENDERS

The Avalanche will go with Philipp Grubauer in net tonight. Grubauer has been the hottest goaltender in the league, winning in his last seven starts. That seven-game streak also features three shutout victories. He comes in with the NHL’s best 1.71 GAA and a top-three save percentage (.930), Both of which put him among the top three goaltenders in the league.

Marc Andre Fleury will look to repeat his last performance against the Avalanche. Back in February, he blanked the Avalanche with a thirty-four save performance. He comes in with a 1.93 GAA, and a save percentage of .931.