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Colorado Avalanche Gameday: Finally back home

Back from Finland, the Avs return to Ball Arena for the first time in three weeks.

NHL: MAY 05 Playoffs Round 1 Game 2 - Predators at Avalanche Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche hockey is back! After what has felt to be a long time since they last played, the Avs host the division-rival Nashville Predators.

It is the first time these two have faced off since the first round of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Colorado got the better of the Preds in a four-game sweep. Therefore, the Preds have to be looking to get back on top despite a slow start.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are coming off of their trip and extended break from Finland, where the Avs got the best of the Columbus Blue Jackets in both games. Having last played five days ago, you’d think they’d be fresh and ready to rock and roll again.

However, this is not the case whatsoever. The trip took out three more key Avalanche names including Sam Girard, Bowen Byram, and Valeri Nichushkin. They join the likes of Gabriel Landeskog and Darren Helm who are out injured and leaving this Avs team very shorthanded.

Therefore, this team is going to look a little different for the next few games. Furthermore, there will be a first for the Avs as Shane Bowers will finally make his NHL debut in the fourth-line center slot. He will be joined alongside Sampo Ranta as they have their work cut out to prove they belong in the NHL.

Projected Lines

Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Alex Newhook (18) - Evan Rodrigues (9) - Martin Kaut (61)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - J.T. Compher (37) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Dryden Hunt (22) - Shane Bowers (15) - Sampo Ranta (75)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Jacob MacDonald (26) - Josh Manson (42)
Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Erik Johnson (6)

Nashville Predators

The Preds are coming off a disappointing 5-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken up in the Pacific Northwest. In this final game of their five-game road trip, they have their work cut out for them to get back in the win column.

Nashville opened their season in Europe as well against the San Jose Sharks. While they split the series overseas, they have only won four games in the past month since coming back stateside. It’s been part of a slow start for the team as a whole, as Juuse Saros has not found his form and was pulled against the Kraken.

With a win, it would be a good way for the Predators to get back on track in their season. Beating the Stanley Cup Champs away from home after being swept by them en route to the Cup would give them a nice flight home, and they have a chance against a wounded Avs side.

Projected Lines

Filip Forsberg (9) - Mikael Grandlund (64) - Matt Duchene (95)
Nino Niederreiter (22) - Ryan Johansen (92) - Eeli Tolvanen (28)
Yakov Trenin (13) - Colton Sissons (10) - Tanner Jeannot (84)
Cole Smith (36) - Cody Glass (8) - Mark Jankowski (17)

Roman Josi (59) - Alexandre Carrier (45)
Mattias Ekholm (14) - Dante Fabbro (57)
Ryan McDonagh (27) - Jeremy Lauzon (3)


The Avalanche will go with their number one, Alexandar Georgiev. He’ll look to continue his good streak to start the year and continue solidifying his number-one role. However, he will not get the opposing netminder most would expect. Kevin Lankinen was the first one off the ice this morning at morning skate instead of Saros, so he should get the start against the Avs tonight.