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Preview: A weekend with the desert dogs

A new win streak starts now, right?

Arizona Coyotes v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Ashley Potts/NHLI via Getty Images

As the burgundy and blue continue their division-heavy end-of-the-regular season schedule, they begin their home-and-home weekend series with their Central Division foe, the Arizona Coyotes. The first match is at home at Ball Arena before the pair of teams travel to the desert for the rematch and conclusion to the season series.

In the last couple of seasons, the reigning champions have had trouble with the plucky rebuilding Coyotes. Still expected to contend for the Conor Bedard lottery Arizona has played well in particular since the All-Star Break and is 6-1-3 in their last 10 games. With a win in their last meeting less than two weeks ago the Avalanche are 1-1 in the season series and hope to put their stamp of victory over the Coyotes once the weekend has concluded.

Colorado Avalanche

After a frustrating loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Avalanche are still contending with a depleted lineup. Reinforcements up front probably are at least a week out depending on how Evan Rodrigues progresses through concussion protocol. The big story on defense is the returns of Cale Makar and Erik Johnson to look more like a suitable defense.

Projected Lines

Denis Malgin (81) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Alex Newhook (18) - J.T. Compher (37) - Val Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Lars Eller (20) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Matt Nieto (83) - Darren Helm (43) - Alex Galchenyuk (47)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Sam Girard (49) - Bowen Byram (4)
Jack Johnson (3) - Erik Johnson (6)

Arizona Coyotes

In their tilt against the Edmonton Oilers, the lines were a bit jumbled but it didn’t really pay dividends as Arizona still fell in overtime. Despite selling off a few more players at the deadline the squad boasts some offensive talent including Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, and Lawson Crouse. The 2018 fifth-overall pick Barrett Hayton is looking to pass the 40-point mark in his first full season in the NHL. Where the Coyotes are lacking is clearly in the backend with a patchwork of prospects and old friend Patrik Nemeth.

Projected Lines

Clayton Keller (9) - Barrett Hayton (29) - Nick Schmaltz (8)
Matias Maccelli (63) - Jack McBain (22) - Lawson Crouse (67)
Milos Kelemen (21) - Travis Boyd (72) - Christian Fischer (36)
Liam O’Brien (38) - Laurent Dauphin (26) - Bokondji Imama (15)

Juuso Valimaki (4) - Michael Kesserling (5)
Patrik Nemeth (2) - J.J. Moser (90)
Connor Mackey (12) - Victor Soderstrom (77)


Alexandar Georgiev has earned the bulk of the starts for the Avalanche over this stretch and is the likely starter in this contest. For the Coyotes they had been rolling the dice with Connor Ingram due to his success against Colorado but Karel Vejmelka has played well for them over the course of the season.