It hasn’t been pretty this season for the Colorado Avalanche against their old divisional foe the Vancouver Canucks. After blowing a 3-1-lead at home and falling 4-3 to the Canucks in November then the Avalanche lost another one just two weeks ago in a similar fashion with a 2-0 lead which turned into a 4-2 defeat. The visitors will have to play much better in this meeting to avoid the season sweep.
Good news is the Avalanche have found their game again winning their last three games and kicked off the road trip with an impressive showing in Calgary which earned them a 4-1 victory. The team currently sits just outside the playoff picture with 49 points but factoring in points percentage and games in hand the Avalanche would grab a wild card berth over the Calgary Flames. A Central Division spot is the aim, however, and if they keep winning the Avalanche can make up ground in that race.
The most pressing lineup question is the status of one Cale Makar and with the team taking a full day off in Vancouver little is known about his availability for this contest. Jared Bednar characterized him day-to-day and we’ll see if Makar’s return stays true to that meaning or if he won’t be seen until after the All-Star break. Otherwise, the lineup should look exactly how it did in their win over Calgary including dressing seven defensemen. Alexandar Georgiev should split the back-to-back with Pavel Francouz but it is the former who gets the net tonight as he looks to build on his strong outing last contest.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Evan Rodrigues (9)
Val Nichushkin (13) - J.T. Compher (37) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Alex Newhook (18 - Logan O’Connor (25)
Anton Blidh (36) - Ben Meyers (59)
Devon Toews (7) - Erik Johnson (6)
Samuel Girard (49) - Brad Hunt (17)
Andreas Englund (88) - Kurtis MacDermid (56)
Jacob MacDonald (26)
Alexandar Georgiev (40)
After a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay, the Canucks will be looking to get back on the right track and sweep the season series against Colorado. With their season hanging in the balance Vancouver needs to decide if they want to join the tank race for the first overall pick or start a strong push to make the playoffs. They are expected to put out the same lineup they had in their last game with former Avs prospect Spencer Martin in net.
Ilya Mikheyev (65) - Elias Pettersson (40) - Brock Boeser (6)
J.T. Miller (9) - Bo Horvat (53) - Conor Garland (8)
Andrei Kuzmenko (96) - Sheldon Dries (51) - Jack Studnicka (18)
Dakota Joshua (81) - Curtis Lazar (20) - William Lockwood (7)
Quinn Hughes (43)- Luke Schenn (2)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) - Tyler Myers (57)
Kyle Burroughs (44) - Ethan Bear (74)
Spencer Martin (30)