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Preview: Avs face suffering Sharks at home

The Avalanche return home to catch the struggling Sharks on the second of a back to back.

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche return to Ball Arena tonight to face the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks just lost the Arizona Coyotes yesterday 5-3. Colorado looks to win two straight after a big win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon and his upper-body injury have been the talk of the town for the last couple of days. Fortunately, we saw him skating and shooting yesterday, and today, Jared Bednar informed Altitude Radio that MacK would play tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

The lineup we will see come playoff time will begin to take shape once we see the return of Captain Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Sam Girard. Hopefully, more ice time leads to hot streaks for depth players in the meantime.

Projected Lineup

Valeri Nichushkin - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Artturi Lehkonen - Nazem Kadri - Andre Burakovsky
Alex Newhook - Nico Sturm - JT Compher
Andrew Cogliano - Darren Helm - Logan O’Connor

Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Jack Johnson - Josh Manson
Kurtis MacDermid - Erik Johnson

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks have had a tough go in the 2021-22 season. They sit twelve points out of the west’s second and final wild-card spot with just sixteen games to play.

On the bright side of things, the Sharks were able to sign Avalanche killer Thomas Hertl to an extension this season. He and Timo Meier are undoubtedly the future of the Sharks franchise.

Projected Lineup

Timo Meier - Tomas Hertl - Alexander Barabanov
Rudolfs Balcers - Logan Couture - Noah Gregor
Sasha Chmelevski - Nick Bonino - John Leonard
Jeffrey Viel - Lane Pederson - Scott Reedy

Jaycob Megna - Brent Burns
Erik Karlsson - Nicolas Meloche
Marc-Edouard - Ryan Merkley

Goaltending

With Darcy Kuemper getting the last two starts, I’d imagine we see Pavel Francouz between the pipes for Colorado. Frankie has gone above and beyond in his backup role this season. He can secure his thirteenth win in his seventeenth game played.

With the Sharks on the second of a back-to-back, they will start Kaapo Kahkonen. Kahkonen is 12-9-3 this season with a 2.91 GAA and .910 SV%.