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Colorado Avalanche Gameday: A return to Nashville

The last time the Avs visited Smashville, it was overrun with COVID

NHL: DEC 16 Avalanche at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The second game of a back-to-back for the Colorado Avalanche saw them travel late last night to the Nashville Predators for just one road game. It’s been nearly a month since these two have played, with very different circumstances back then.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs came out victorious last night against the Seattle Kraken 4-3 in another comeback effort. Being down 3-1 and without captain Gabriel Landeskog, the win was a statement one despite not being the best game.

The Avs will still be without Landeskog tonight as he’s in the midst of his COVID quarantine, still asymptomatic and anticipating his return in a few days time. Nicolas Aube-Kubel stepped up in a big way last night, scoring two goals and looking good in his bottom six role.

Nazem Kadri continues to be dominant, getting his 46th point of the season last night with his game-winning shot over the shoulder of Philipp Grubauer. He will look to make the win streak six games straight tonight.

Forwards

Andre Burakovsky (95) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)

Valeri Nichushkin (13) - Nazem Kadri (91) - J.T. Compher (37)

Nicolas Aube-Kubel (16) - Alex Newhook (18) - Logan O’Connor (25)

Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Tyson Jost (17) - Darren Helm (43)

Defenders

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)

Bowen Byram (4) - Sam Girard (49)

Erik Johnson (6) - Jack Johnson (3)

Nashville Predators

The Preds sit top of the Central Division, with a one point advantage over the St. Louis Blues and two points ahead of tonight’s opponent in the Avalanche. Tonight is more pivotal than ever if they want to hold their division lead.

The Preds were the last team to beat the Avs, nearly a month ago in a 5-2 win before each team was subsequently shut down in a COVID infested game for both sides. Both teams are hot entering tonight, with Nashville having the home advantage.

The Preds have won four straight games, winning their last game 4-2 away to the Arizona Coyotes. They look to kick off their home stand in style, knocking off one of the top teams in the league and extending their division lead.

Forwards

Eeli Tolvanen (28) - Ryan Johansen (92) - Luke Kunin (71)

Tanner Jeannot (84) - Mikael Granlund (64) - Matt Duchene (95)

Yakov Trenin (13) - Colton Sissons (10) - Nick Cousins (21)

Matt Luff (24) - Michael McCarron (47) - Philip Tomasino (26)

Defenders

Roman Josi (59) - Matt Benning (5)

Mattias Ekholm (14) - Alexandre Carrier (45)

Mark Borowiecki (90) - Phillipe Myers (55)

Goaltending

After having the night off last night, Dracy Kuemper will come back into his starting role tonight after a good performance from Pavel Francouz last night. The Preds will go with Juuse Saros.