Monday’s win over Philadelphia was a strong demonstration that the Avalanche are still a powerful squad despite all the injuries they’re facing. That injury burden gets a little lighter tonight, as Evan Rodrigues’ return bumps Jacob MacDonald out of the lineup.
The lines should jumble quite a bit as Coach Bednar works Rodrigues back into his forward group and finds ice time for Alex Newhook with skilled players, but the AHL callup line of Charles Hudon, Ben Meyers, and Jean-Luc Foudy has earned Bednar’s trust enough to stay together behind the Rantanen and Compher lines at the NHL level for now.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Mikko Rantanen (96) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - J.T. Compher (37) - Evan Rodrigues (9)
Charles Hudon (54) - Ben Meyers (59) - Jean-Luc Foudy (93)
Dryden Hunt (22) - Alex Newhook (18) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Sam Girard (49) - Cale Makar (8)
Devon Toews (7) - Erik Johnson (6)
Brad Hunt (17) - Andreas Englund (88)
The young Sabres have had an up-and-down season, but their offensive weapons have been dangerous the entire time. When the Avalanche went to Buffalo, it took six Colorado goals to put away the Sabres as Tage Thompson, JJ Peterka, Dylan Cozens, and Alex Tuch all got pucks past Alexandar Georgiev.
Since that game, the Sabres have lost twice to Pittsburgh and beaten lesser opponents in San Jose, Columbus, and Los Angeles. They’re young and talented, but don’t play a consistent enough defensive game in front of up-and-coming netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkanen to consistently beat higher-quality opponents.
Also of note, old pal Tyson Jost landed in Buffalo after his time in Minnesota. He’ll be in Denver for the first time in Sabres white and blue tonight.
Casey Mittelstadt (37) - Tage Thompson (72) - Alex Tuch(89)
JJ Peterka (77) - Dylan Cozens (23) - Jack Quinn (22)
Rasmus Asplund (74) - Tyson Jost (17) - Victor Olofsson (72)
Zemgus Girgensons (28) - Peyton Krebs (19) - Kyle Okposo (21)
Mattias Samuelsson (23) - Rasmus Dahlin (26)
Owen Power (25) - Jacob Bryson (78)
Kale Clague (38) - Casey Fitzgerald (45)
Expect to see Georgiev and Luukkonen in the nets tonight.