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Preview: Back-to-back ends with Devils

Can the Avalanche extend their winning streak to eight games?

Colorado Avalanche v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils will meet tonight at Ball Arena for an evening contest. The Devils have won two in a row and are fresh off a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Colorado is looking to follow up a nine-goal win with an eighth straight victory in the second half of a back-to-back.

Colorado Avalanche

Last night, the Avalanche made a statement by walking all over the LA Kings. They dominated a team that was desperate for a win and showcased their catalog of talented players.

The TNT broadcast spent a lot of time during the pregame talking about Roman Josi taking the lead for the Norris Trophy, but Cale Makar took that personally. He put up a casual four points, effectively conveying a “not so fast” message to Biz and the rest of the panel. If Makar doesn’t win the award, it won’t take anything away from his record-breaking season.

Projected Lineup

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

Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Josh Manson — Samuel Girard
Bo Byram — Erik Johnson (Jack Johnson)

Note: Head coach Jared Bednar seems to be looking at both Erik and Jack Johnson heading into the playoffs. Look for them to swap on the second of a back-to-back.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils are playing for pride this late in the season. They are on the outside looking in and won’t be a playoff squad. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to be excited about in Jersey. They still have some young and skilled players to develop and should be a solid squad soon.

Projected Lineup

Yegor Sharangovich - Nico Hischier - Fabian Zetterlund
Tomas Tatar - Dawson Mercer - Jesper Bratt
Pavel Zacha - Jesper Boqvist - Janne Kuokkanen
AJ Greer - Michael McLoed - Nathan Bastian

Ryan Graves - Damon Severson
Kevin Bahl - Dougie Hamilton
Ty Smith - P.K. Subban

Goaltending

The Avalanche will go with backup Pavel Francouz with Kuemper playing just last night. Frankie has been lights out as a backup and is looking for his fifteenth win of the season.

It will likely be Nico Daws between the pipes for the Devils. Daws has a sub .900 save percentage and has 10 earned victories on the season. Can he withstand the pressure of facing the high-flying Avalanche?

Note: This isn’t related to tonight’s game but here is my favorite part of the national broadcast from last night.