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Open Thread: Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks (7:00 p.m.)

It’s Colorado Avalanche game day!

Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tonight the Colorado Avalanche welcome the rebooting and Patrick Kane-less Chicago Blackhawks. Surprisingly, the Avalanche were defeated the last time these two teams met in January, but the season series is a one-to-one split. Can the Avalanche impose their will on an inferior Hawks squad and claim the season series?

Colorado Avalanche

The talking point heading into last week was that the Colorado Avalanche would face the weakest schedule remaining among all other NHL teams. That isn’t up to them, but the Avalanche have gotten while the getting is good. They are riding a five-game winning streak and have a real chance at pushing that to six tonight against a not-so-good Blackhawks team.

What’s been most impressive over this winning streak was last week’s victories over Toronto and then the Senators the following night. They shut down a high-scoring and very skilled Leafs team and then held on for dear life just 24 hours later against the Sens. The Avalanche are still set to play six more games before April’s first, including another back-to-back this Sat/Sun.

Projected Lineup:

Evan Rodrigues — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin — JT Compher — Denis Malgin
Andrew Cogliano — Lars Eller — Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto — Alex Newhook — Alex Galchenyuk

Devon Toews — Bowen Byram
Samuel Girard — Jack Johnson
Kurtis MacDermid — Brad Hunt

Note: Captain Gabe Landeskog was spotted skating with the team in red, a positive sign for a guy that hasn’t done so the entire season! Cale Makar is day-to-day and Darren Helm is sick and not available. Despite being a full participant, Erik Johnson is not available yet to play either.

Chicago Blackhawks Projected Lines:

Lukas Reichel — Philipp Kurashev — Andreas Athanasiou
Tyler Johnson — Jason Dickinson — Taylor Raddysh
Mike Harman — Mackenzie Entwistle — Buddy Robinson
Boris Katchouk — Jujhar Khaira — Joey Anderson

Caleb Jones — Seth Jones
Jarred Tinordi — Connor Murphy
Nikita Zaitsev — Wyatt Kaiser

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