After a disappointing and demoralizing 4-1 loss on Thursday night, the Colorado Avalanche move their second-round series with the St. Louis Blues to the Enterprise Center for Game 3 tonight. It is probably the most crucial game for this series, as it could determine the winner of the series.
The Avs need to rebound after not showing up to play on Thursday night. With St. Louis stealing a win on the road, the Avalanche needs to repeat that feat within the next three nights.
This was the first loss the Avs had suffered in the postseason after sweeping the Nashville Predators in the first round. While it wasn’t expected they’d go 16-0, the loss is demoralizing and perhaps brings back some flashbacks to the Vegas Golden Knights series last year.
The big guns were quiet, and Mikko Rantanen falls in this category. He has done little so far in this postseason and needs to turn it up to help his team. His linemates need to up their game as well to provide any success.
With the loss, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Jared Bednar shakes up his lineup a little bit. He has shared no information on his lineups leading up to games so far in the playoffs. Expect the same mentality from him, but perhaps fielding a different lineup come game time.
Valeri Nichushkin (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Gabriel Landeskog (92) - Nazem Kadri (91) - Artturi Lehkonen (62)
Nicolas Aube-Kubel (16)/Alex Newhook (18) - J.T. Compher (37) - Andre Burakovsky (95)
Logan O’Connor (25)/Darren Helm (43) - Nico Sturm (78) - Andrew Cogliano (11)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Samuel Girard (49) - Josh Manson (42)
Bowen Byram (4) - Erik Johnson (6)
St. Louis Blues
The Blues have all the confidence in the world at the moment. They went into Ball Arena, played their hockey, and dominated Game 2 to take the series to the Enterprise Center even.
The play of David Perron was stellar on the night, with two goals including the game-winner on the 5-on-3 advantage at the end of the second period. His partner and former Avalanche member Brandon Saad played a solid game which included the game-killing empty-net goal.
Craig Berube had changed things up for Game 2 and the changes worked wonders. With 11 forwards and seven defensemen, he will certainly take the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” once again for tonight’s game looking to take a big series lead.
Pavel Buchnevich (89) - Ryan O’Reilly (90) - David Perron (57)
Ivan Barbashev (49) - Brayden Schenn (10) - Vladimir Tarasenko (91)
Brandon Saad (20) - Robert Thomas (18) - Jordan Kyrou (25)
Alexi Toropchenko (65) - Tyler Bozak (21)
Nick Leddy (4) - Colton Parayko (55)
Calle Rosen (43) - Justin Faulk (72)
Niko Mikkola (77) - Robert Bortuzzo (41)
Scott Perunovich (48)
The goaltending matchup will continue to stay the same unless any injuries pop up for either side. It means we will see Darcy Kuemper versus Jordan Binnington once again between the pipes for the Avs and Blues respectively.