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Preview: Ending 2023 fighting off Sharks

The Avs look to round out an up-and-down year on a high on New Years Eve.

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche return home to Ball Arena for one final game in the calendar year of 2023. The team looks to end the year on a high facing off against the struggling San Jose Sharks.

The Avs have not had much success in recent New Year's Eve games, their last one being a blowout at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. However, these two teams faced off a couple of weeks ago and the Avs handily won over the Sharks in a 6-2 win. They’ll be looking to repeat their effort.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs gritted their way out of the Gateway to the West with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Friday night. It was far from its best performance of the season, but it was one of those wins a team will need every once in a while to get going in the right direction.

Part of the reason why Colorado was back to winning ways was the performance of Alexandar Georgiev, who stole the game for the Avs with 28 saves. While his performance was good, we unfortunately saw the loss of Nathan MacKinnon’s point streak, ending at 19 games.

But, he’ll still look to continue his home-point streak with this matchup. He will get support behind him with the return of Sam Girard to the lineup as well. Will Colorado end 2023 and head into the New Year with a win?

Projected Lines

Jonathan Drouin (27) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Miles Wood (28) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Frederik Olofsson (22) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Kurtis MacDermid (56) - Ben Meyers (59) - Joel Kiviranta (94)

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

San Jose Sharks

San Jose is coming into the Mile High City with their last result typical to what they’ve seen this season: a 5-0 loss at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. This result extended their recent losing streak, currently at seven games.

Loss two of this seven-game streak came at the hands of the Avalanche on December 17. It’s safe to say it has been far from an ideal 2023 for the rebuilding Sharks, still without some key players.

Logan Couture remains out from the beginning of this season, and Tomas Hertl cannot do it all for San Jose. Will the Sharks be able to pull through in the clutch and head into the New Year with some positivity?

Projected Lines

William Eklund (72) - Tomas Hertl (48) - Filip Zadina (18)
Anthony Duclair (10) - Mikael Granlund (64) - Fabian Zetterland (20)
Mike Hoffman (68) - Jack Studnicka (16) - Luke Kunin (11)
Justin Bailey (90) - Ryan Carpenter (22) - Alexandar Barabanov (94)

Mario Ferraro (38) - Ty Emberson (6)
Henry Thrun (3) - Jan Rutta (84)
Nikita Okhotyuk (83) - Calen Addison (33)

Goaltenders

The Avs will go back to Georgiev after his great performance in St. Louis, looking for the same result. San Jose has confirmed to go with Kaapo Kahkonen in net looking for a miracle.