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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Trying to pull ahead in the West

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The Avalanche are looking to stretch the St. Louis Blues losing streak to six games

St Louis Blues v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche: 24-8-4

St. Louis Blues: 16-14-6

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. MT

Watch: Altitude, BSMW

Listen: Altitude 92.5, AM 950

After holding on for a 3-2 victory last night, the Colorado Avalanche will look to sweep the back-to-back with the St. Louis Blues. Newly acquired goaltender Jonas Johansson recorded 25 saves to record his first win in an Avalanche jersey. He looked a lot more comfortable than in his first start and this performance could help ease some of the anxieties Avalanche fans have about the backup position.

The Avalanche will look for one more big win tonight before they hit the road for their first week-long road trip in more than a month,

Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals in the team’s latest victory, including the game winner as he is starting to catch fire. He’s got six points in his last three games and is now only one behind Mikko Rantanen for the team lead and a spot in the league’s top-5.

Brandon Saad chipped in the other Avs goal scoring his first in eight games and ending a six game point drought.

While the bottom-6 was held off the scoreboard for the first time in a while, they played a very efficient game, carrying the play and limiting the offensive chances for St. Louis.

Devon Toews and Samuel Girard each logged more than 26 minutes of ice time last night, so hopefully fatigue doesn’t become a factor in the rematch.

Projected Lines

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky – Nazem Kadri – Brandon Saad
Valeri Nichushkin – Tyson Jost – Joonas Donskoi
Liam O’Brien – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – JT Compher

Defense

Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Jacob MacDonald – Samuel Girard
Ryan Graves – Dan Renouf

St. Louis Blues

After a decent first period, St. Louis was out shot 29-15 the rest of the way as they were completely unable to generate any sort of come back at 5v5.

The second line looked good as Mike Hoffman and David Perron scored while Brayden Schenn recorded five shots on net. Aside from that trio, the Blues looked like a team that was thoroughly outmatched through most of the game.

If St. Louis hopes to find a split in this series - and end their losing streak - they’re going to need to find a way to limit the offensive attack from the Avalanche. Particularly if Ville Husso and his .885 sv% are in net.

The Blues are in a really bad funk right now as they have now fallen out of the top-4 in the West Division.

Projected Lineup:

Jaden Schwartz - Ryan O’Reilly - Vladimir Tarasenko

Mike Hoffman - Brayden Schenn - David Perron

Zach Sanford - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou

Kyle Clifford - Tyler Bozak - Ivan Barbashev

Torey Krug - Justin Faulk

Marco Scandella - Vince Dunn

Jake Walman - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltenders

With Johansson playing last night, Philipp Grubauer will be back in net for the Avalanche tonight. The Vezina candidate comes into this game with a 22-7-1 record and a .928 save percentage.

For the Blues we’re likely to see former San Antonio Rampage netminder Ville Husso. So far this season, he has a decent looking record (6-3-1) but an abysmal .885 save percentage.