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Preview: Dropping the puck in 2024 against the Isles

Colorado heads into the New Year on a win streak, looking for more.

New York Islanders v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche enter 2024 with their first game of the year against the New York Islanders in Ball Arena. This matchup wraps up a quick two-game homestand for Colorado as they look to win their third straight.

These two played at the beginning of the season back in October on Long Island. The Avs won in a high-scoring 7-4 matchup, the sixth straight game they won to open the season. It was also the 15th-straight road game they had won in a row, an NHL record - which now feels like a fever dream.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs finished 2023 with a close 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on New Year’s Eve on Sunday night. It was the second straight game where the team had to dig deep and pull through late for the victory.

Colorado seems to have captured its ability to dig deep to win gritty games, as has been the case for their last two wins. Plus, they may get support in this department with the probable return of Ross Colton from a leg injury.

With Colton skating in a normal burgundy jersey and the recent return of Sam Girard, plus the return of Artturi Lehkonen coming soon as well, the team will continue to get reinforcements. Can Colton make an impact to help the Avs win its third straight game?

Projected Lines

Jonathan Drouin (27) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Miles Wood (28) - Ross Colton (20) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Ben Meyers (59) - Frederik Olofsson (22) - Joel Kiviranta (94)

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

New York Islanders

The Isles are coming to the Mile High City off a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Sunday night. New York is amidst a four-game road trip, this being the second game.

The Islanders are in the middle of an extremely tight battle in the Metropolitan Division, currently tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for third in the division with 43 points. They hold a wild card spot, but it makes every game an important one.

New York has a big four when it comes to point-scorers, with Mathew Barzal, Bo Horvat, Noah Dobson, and Brock Nelson all scoring 30+ points this season. Can the Isles use their star-scorers and get some depth to start 2024 on the right foot?

Projected Lines

Anders Lee (27) - Bo Horvat (14) - Mathew Barzal (13)
Hudson Fasching (20) - Brock Nelson (29) - Kyle Palmeri (21)
Simon Holmstrom (10) - Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) - Julien Gauthier (16)
Matt Martin (17) - Casey Cizikas (53) - Cal Clutterbuck (15)

Alexander Romanov (28) - Noah Dobson (8)
Samuel Bolduc (4) - Scott Mayfield (24)
Mike Reilly (2) - Sebastian Aho (25)

Goaltenders

Colorado will roll with the hot hand, being Alexandar Georgiev at the moment. The Islanders will likely go with their star in the crease as well, that being Ilya Sorokin.