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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Oilers spill into Denver

McDavid vs. MacKinnon face-off once again

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

With the trade deadline ending in a few short hours, it has taken up the spotlight of the hockey world. But even after the deadline passes this afternoon, there’s still a great hockey game on the books tonight.

The Edmonton Oilers come to Ball Arena to face the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since November 27th, 2019. Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon will go head-to-head once again as two of the leagues best look to get their team two points.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs return home for the first of three at home with two of the three teams coming from Canada. They just finished up a short two-game road trip to California, squeaking ahead of the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Friday night.

After having a weekend off with no games, the Avs look well rested in hopes to win their fourth straight game on the bounce. This includes an update to Bowen Byram, who continues to practice with the team in a red non-contact jersey.

While he looks ever closer to returning at his own pace, his new-look defense has been good. Josh Manson has looked solid in his first two games, and outside of a lackluster third period on Friday night, will look to hold strong defensively with his other five defenders.

Projected Forwards

Valeri Nichushkin (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)

Andre Burakovsky (95) - Nazem Kadri (91) - Logan O’Connor (25)

Alex Newhook (18) - Nico Sturm (78) - J.T. Compher (37)

Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Darren Helm (43) - Nicolas Aube-Kubel (16)

Projected Defenders

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)

Ryan Murray (28) - Josh Manson (42)

Jack Johnson (3) - Erik Johnson (6)

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have had a roller coaster season, and are in the thick of the Pacific Division playoff race. They sit in third place in the Pacific Division thanks to a current five-game win streak and fall of the Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights in the division

They were victorious Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on home ice. This is the first of two back-to-back games for the Oilers tonight, as they play the Dallas Stars away tomorrow night as well.

We all know the swagger that comes with the play of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They will look to continue to stack up on their point total this season. Newly-acquired Evander Kane will also look to help out the main two guys, and we’ll see an old friend in Tyson Barrie back in Denver as well.

Projected Forwards

Evander Kane (91) - Connor McDavid (97) - Kailer Yamamoto (56)

Zach Hyman (18) - Leon Draisaitl (29) - Jesse Puljujarvi (13)

Warren Foegele (37) - Devin Shore (14) - Derek Ryan (10)

Josh Archibald (15) - Ryan McLeod (71) - Zach Kassian (44)

Projected Defenders

Darnell Nurse (25) - Cody Ceci (5)

Duncan Keith (2) - Evan Bouchard (75)

Kris Russell (6) - Tyson Barrie (22)

Goaltenders

With Pavel Francouz starting Friday night, the Avs will probably rotate Darcy Kuemper into the starting role tonight. For the Oilers, it’ll be a toss-up for either Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen to get the start tonight. Koskinen is 1-2 in four game against the Avs, while Smith is 12-1-4 against the Avs in 17 games.