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Preview: Big Apple showdown with the Rangers

The Avs return after a long break for the All-Star Weekend.

Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time in 10 days, the Colorado Avalanche play a meaningful game of hockey!

They head out East for the longest road trip of the season. It all starts Monday night against the New York Rangers. It is the first game of a season-long six-game road trip, and it couldn’t be a much harder matchup than this.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs haven’t played since January 26, last against the Los Angeles Kings. They won dominantly in a 5-1 final for their third straight win.

They did have Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Alexandar Georgiev represent them at the All-Star Game this weekend in Toronto. All three found some sort of success in the skills competition, with the latter of the three winning $100,000.

We will also see the highly-anticipated debut of Zach Parise, who signed with the team right before the start of the break. He will slot into the second line, perhaps surprisingly, with Ryan Johansen and Artturi Lehkonen. We’ll see how he does in his first game in half a year, being thrown to the wolves in a good game.

Projected Lines

Jonathan Drouin (27) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Zach Parise (9) - Ryan Johansen (12) - Artturi Lehkonen (62)
Miles Wood (28) - Ross Colton (20) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - 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 Rangers

The Rangers won last time out before the break in a big 7-2 win on the road against the Ottawa Senators. It was good to get on the right side, as New York has been on a bit of a skid recently.

They had lost seven of their last 10 games heading into the break. Now is a good time to turn it around with two games at home against two good teams to start the back half of the season.

Artemi Panarin has been an animal this season, with 66 points in 49 games. Mika Zibenejad, Vincent Trochek, and Chris Kreider have 46, 46, and 45 points respectively and been good too. All will need to step up and show out to get the Rangers back to winning ways.

Projected Lines

Chris Kreider (20) – Mika Zibanejad (93) – Blake Wheeler (17)
Artemi Panarin (10) – Vincent Trocheck (16) – Alexis Lafrenière (13)
Will Cuylle (50) – Jonny Brodzinski (22) – Kaapo Kakko (24)
Jimmy Vesey (26) – Barclay Goodrow (21) – Tyler Pitlick (71)

Ryan Lindgren (55) – Adam Fox (23)
K’Andre Miller (79) – Braden Schneider (4)
Zac Jones (6) – Erik Gustafsson (56)

Goaltenders

The Avalanche will have their All-Star and No. 1 netminder Georgiev in the crease tonight. Meanwhile, perhaps a surprise for the Rangers is seeing the former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick starting in net.