The Colorado Avalanche play their penultimate game before the All-Star Break hosting the subpar Anaheim Ducks. Colorado is looking to win seven in a row as they currently ride this hot streak.
The ball is in their court with this opponent and playing on home ice. However, this game shouldn’t be overlooked as the Avs have suffered losses against other teams in the race for Connor Bedard such as the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks.
Colorado is coming off a close 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. They hung on against the force the Caps had brought especially after Alex Ovechkin scored goal 811 in the loss, but couldn’t find 812 to bring it level and the Avs hung on.
Depth continues to be a talking point with Colorado, as players like Alex Newhook and Andrew Cogliano have shined recently with goals last game. However, they will need to do more to fill in gaps due to the most recent injury report.
Valeri Nichushkin is out day-to-day with an upper-body injury and is missing games for the third time this season. While he is out, the Avs get some more reinforcements. Denis Malgin, Cale Makar, and “new man” Matt Nieto will all play looking to keep on winning.
Matt Nieto will play tonight.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) January 26, 2023
Denis Malgin will return from injury. So will Cale Makar. Nathan MacKinnon took a maintenance day this morning. He is in.
Valeri Nichushkin is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Not related to his past injury.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Evan Rodrigues (9)
Denis Malgin (81) - J.T. Compher (37) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Alex Newhook (18) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Matt Nieto (83) - Ben Meyers (59) - Anton Blidh (36)
Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Sam Girard (49) - Erik Johnson (6)
Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Brad Hunt (17)
The Ducks are flailing out of control at the bottom of the Western Conference. Sitting last in the Pacific with only 33 points and 14 wins to their name, they are actually coming off an impressive win 5-2 over the also struggling Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night.
This is the last game of a six-game road trip for the Ducks who are in the running for the Bedard sweepstakes. While the win over the Yotes was good in some eyes, it also hurts their chances to win the NHL Draft, even though NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman insisted there is no such thing as tanking in his league.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on tanking: Nobody tanks.— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 24, 2023
He said it with a straight face.
Full comment: pic.twitter.com/Ss6rm0G5Rh
Regardless of whether or not Bedard does end up being a Duck, they still have young stars like Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry. Jayson Megna will also return to the Mile High City after being put on waivers by the Avs, as he and his team look to win two straight and stop Colorado’s win streak.
Adam Henrique (14) - Mason McTavish (37) - Troy Terry (19)
Maxime Comtois (44) - Trevor Zegras (11) - Ryan Strome (16)
Frank Vatrano (77) - Isac Lundestrom (21) - Jakob Silfverberg (33)
Max Jones (49) - Jayson Megna (7) - Sam Carrick (39)
Cam Fowler (4) - Dmitry Kulikov (29)
Simon Benoit (13) - Colton White (45)
Urho Vaakanainen (5) - Kevin Shattenkirk (22)
The Avs will turn to Pavel Francouz after Alexandar’s Georgiev busy night on Tuesday as he stopped 37 shots. Meanwhile, Anaheim should go with their usual number one and veteran John Gibson.