While things are very different now than they would be in the future, this is a possible Stanley Cup Final matchup. Should these two meet in June as some have predicted this year and in previous years, it’s bound to be a good one.
The Avs are currently riding a three-game win streak. Most recently in this three-game home stand, they beat the Nashville Predators 5-3. A dominant second period and a buckled-down defense in the third period were all they needed for the two points.
While they’re off to a good over .500 start, there’s plenty of work Colorado still has ahead of them. This includes the continuously mentioned injuries the team is facing, missing six names that would regularly be in the lineup, including Shane Bowers who was hurt in his NHL debut with a UBI.
With Bowers unable to go, Jayson Megna is back with the Avs and will fill the fourth-line center spot. While he won’t be getting as much ice time as others, the hope is Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen continue their dominance on the top line.
This will be a great test early on in the season for the Avs, who will look to get ahead despite the losses. They haven’t faced an exceptional team yet and this is a first for them to see how they match up and fare against a good team.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Evan Rodrigues (9) - Alex Newhook (18) - Martin Kaut (61)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - J.T. Compher (37) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Dryden Hunt (22) - Jayson Megna (12) - Sampo Ranta (75)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Jacob MacDonald (26) - Josh Manson (42)
Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Erik Johnson (6)
The Canes continue to roll in the Eastern Conference with a solid 9-4-1 start, good for second place so far in the Metropolitan Division. This included a dominant 7-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night at home.
Saturday night is the start of a two-game road trip for the Canes, who are looking to catch the New Jersey Devils ahead of them thanks to their great start to the year. They’ll look to their point leader so far, Martin Necas, who has seven goals and 12 assists in 14 games.
Ahead of him on the first line will be Andrei Svechnikov, who leads the team in goals with 11 in 14 games. The two will look to lead the line and continue their good start to the season and have a good test on the injury-stricken Avs.
Andrei Svechnikov (37) - Sebastian Aho (20) - Teuvo Teravinen (86)
Seth Jarvis (24) - Jesperi Kotkanemi (82) - Martin Necas (88)
Jordan Martinook (48) - Jordan Staal (11) - Jesper Fast (71)
Paul Stastny (26) - Jack Drury (18) - Stefan Noesen (23)
Jacob Slavin (74) - Brent Burns (8)
Brady Skjei (76) - Brett Pesce (22)
Calvin de Haan (44) - Jalen Chatfield (5)
It should be Alexandar Georgiev for the Avs going in net to try and build off his 7-1 start to the year. However, Carolina’s number one, Frederik Andersen, is on IR due to an undisclosed injury. With Pyotr Kochetkov playing Thursday night, it likely will be the usual backup of Antti Raanta getting the nod in net.