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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Blackhawks’ final visit to Ball Arena

Avalanche are looking for sweet-sixteen straight at home against Chicago, who visit Denver for the final time this season.

Colorado Avalanche vs Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche aim to extend a couple of winning streaks against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago comes into the contest having lost three straight with an overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild in their last game. Colorado has won six straight and a record 15 straight at home.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

The Avalanche are, without a doubt, the hottest team in the NHL right now, winning eleven of their last twelve. The one loss came controversially when the Predators were awarded power-play on a more than questionable too-many-men on the ice penalty.

Colorado has also won in various ways along that stretch, winning two games via shootout and three in overtime. In the last five games, the Avalanche also tallied two shutouts and displayed resolve in more than a few comeback victories. Winning in a variety of ways should prove valuable come playoff time when momentum swings make or break teams.

FORWARDS

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky

Logan O’Connor - Alex Newhook - JT Compher

Nicolas Aube-Kubel - Mikhail Maltsev - Tyson Jost

DEFENDERS

Devon Toews - Cale Makar

Jack Johnson - Samuel Girard

Kurtis MacDermid - Erik Johnson

Note: Darren Helm, Ryan Murray, and Bowen Byram are all listed as Day-to-Day.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

The Blackhawks haven’t been strangers to overtime and shootout hockey as of late, either. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been on the losing side of three of the four such contests. Chicago had a two-goal lead over the Wild on Saturday but could not hold onto it and eventually lost in OT.

The Blackhawks season has been filled with inconsistency, and they find themselves among the league’s lowest point-getters with thirty-seven out of a possible eighty-two points this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury says he is paying no mind to trade rumors, but he is undoubtedly a trade target for multiple teams. The Edmonton Oilers are desperate to change things between the pipes, and Colorado may be a suitor if Sakic thinks he needs an upgrade in net as well.

FORWARDS

Brandon Hagel - Dylan Strome - Patrick Kane

Alex Debrincat - Jonathan Toews - Sam Lafferty

Philipp Kurashev - Kirby Dach - Dominik Kubalik

Henrik Borgstrom - Ryan Carpenter - Mackenzie Entwistle

DEFENDERS

Jake McCabe - Seth Jones

Calvin De Haan - Connor Murphy

Caleb Jones - Erik Gustafsson

Note: The Blackhawks will be without Tyler Johnson and Reese Johnson. Riley Stillman and Jujhar Khaira are listed as Day-to-Day.

GOALTENDERS

It’s safe to assume both teams go with their starters for this divisional showdown, which puts Darcy Kuemper between the pipes for Colorado. Lately, Darcy has turned a corner and looks excellent, posting ten wins in his last thirteen games. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in his previous three starts.

Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start for the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury has been solid behind a sub-par team despite being a thirty-seven-year-old. Night after night, he is the Blackhawk’s best player. He comes in with a 2.79 GAA and .913 SV%.