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Preview: First Saturday night game in NoCal

The Avs look to continue their early season in the win column.

Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The young season rolls on with the Colorado Avalanche in the middle game of their three-game road trip. Saturday night sees them pay a visit to the declining San Jose Sharks for the first time this season.

The Avs look to keep on winning, while the Sharks look for their first win of the season in front of their fans. Will Colorado spoil the party once again, or can San Jose pull off the upset?

Colorado Avalanche

The one and only game of the 2023-24 season the Avs have played in so far ended with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Coming into the Bay Area on a few days' rest will be crucial for them in this young season.

This comes as they are still trying to get healthy, with Andrew Cogliano still trying to make it back into the lineup from last year’s neck injury in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Seattle Kraken. His status is currently unknown, so don’t be surprised if Kurtis MacDermid is in the lineup again, or if Riley Tufte comes in for his season debut.

It shouldn't be too big of a hassle if the stars show up once again. Mikko Rantanen already has four points, and Nathan MacKinnon with three. Cale Makar has two points and will look to partner alongside his newly-extended defensive partner Devon Toews to shut things down and drive toward another Avalanche win.

Projected Lines

Jonathan Drouin (27) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Miles Wood (28) - Ross Colton (20) - Tomas Tatar (90)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Frederik Olofsson (22) - Logan O’Connor (25)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Bowen Byram (4) - Sam Girard (49)
Jack Johnson (3) - Josh Manson (42)

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks start their season with some tough matchups. While Saturday’s game against the Avalanche is no different, they also were on the receiving end of a 4-1 drubbing by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Playing the two most recent Stanley Cup champions certainly won’t help their record but neither will their personnel. This is not the same time pre-pandemic the Avs took to seven games.

There is no Erik Karlsson, and Logan Couture is out injured. They’ll rely on Tomas Hertl to get the job done, and new face Anthony Duclair from the Florida Panthers looks for his first point of the year along with an upset to get back to .500.

Projected Lines

Mike Hoffman (68) - Tomas Hertl (48) - Filip Zadina (18)
William Eklund (72) - Mikael Granlund (64) - Luke Kunin (11)
Alexander Barkov (94) - Tomas Bordeleau (17) - Anthony Duclair (10)
Givani Smith (54) - Nico Sturm (7) - Fabian Zetterland (20)

Mario Ferraro (38) - Kyle Burroughs (4)
Marc-Eduard Vlasic (44) - Matt Benning (5)
Henry Thurn (3) - Jan Rutta (84)

Goaltenders

Jared Bednar confirmed to the media Friday Alexandar Georgiev would get the nod as he is looking for career win 100. Meanwhile, it should be Kaapo Kahkonen getting the nod for San Jose ahead of MacKenzie Blackwood.