Believe it or not, the Colorado Avalanche have really struggled against the Arizona Coyotes. On Saturday, they’ll need figure it out against the road team if they want to salvage their four game homestand.
The Coyotes, who have beaten the Avalanche the last three times the teams have played each other, come to Ball Arena for the second matchup between the teams this season. The Coyotes beat the Avalanche handily in the first game after the Holiday break back in December.
Against the Kings, head coach Jared Bednar had scoring chances pretty much the same, but the Kings were able to get the tough areas on the ice, while the Avalanche weren’t.
“If you’re not engaged enough and competitive enough, then you’re not going to win,” he said at practice Friday.
Don’t look for any changes to the Avalanche lines. At practice on Friday, the even strength setup looked exactly the same as it did Thursday. The powerplay, however, could look a little different.
Evan Rodrigues replaced Artturi Lehkonen on the top powerplay unit at practice, and the setup of entire powerplay looked a little different. We’ll see if that carries over to the game.
Alexandar Georgiev is expected to start in net.
Unlike a lot of bottom-dwelling teams, the Coyotes have been playing teams hard. In their last six games, they’re 3-2-1 and have competed hard against all their opponents. Clayton Keller leads the way for them offensively, with 65 points in 65 games.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Artturi Lehkonen – Nathan MacKinnon – Valeri Nichushkin
Evan Rodrigues – J.T. Compher – Mikko Rantanen
Andrew Cogliano – Lars Eller – Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto – Alex Newhook – Denis Malgin
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson – Brad Hunt
Expected Arizona Coyotes Lines, per DailyFaceoff.com
Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayden – Nick Schmaltz
Matias Maccelli – Jack McBain – Lawson Crouse
Brett Ritchie – Travis Boyd – Christian Fischer
Liam O’Brien – Laurent Dauphin – Zack Kassian
Juuso Valimaki – Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth – J.J. Moser
Connor Mackey – Victor Soderstrom
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 23%, 9th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79.2%, 17th in NHL
Arizona Coyotes Power Play: 19%, 24th in NHL
Arizona Coyotes Penalty Kill: 75.1%, 25th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: ESPN+, Altitude TV
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Sports Radio
Game Time: 4:00 PM MST