It will be a big test for the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night, as they head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on national television.
It’ll be an even tougher test, as they’ll likely be without one of their top forwards for the remainder of the regular season.
With Artturi Lehkonen breaking his finger on Monday, the Avalanche will have to adjust their lines and hope somebody steps up. Denis Malgin appears set to get the first crack at filling in for Lehkonen, and he’s earned it. The Swiss forward has been red-hot, scoring three goals in his last five games.
On Tuesday, the Avalanche recalled Alex Galchenyuk to fill the open roster spot. He’s had a strong season with the Colorado Eagles, picking up 33 points in 33 games. Don’t be surprised if he gets a shift here and there in the top six.
Alexandar Georgiev will start in net.
On the radio Tuesday morning, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar called the Maple Leafs “a wagon.” He’s not wrong. With 88 points, they sit second place in the Atlantic Division, and appear destined for another first round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Offensively, they’re led by Mitch Marner, who has 85 points in 66 games and is on pace for the first 100 point season of his career.
The Maple Leafs won the only other matchup between these two teams back on New Years Eve by a score of 6-2.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Evan Rodrigues – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin – J.T. Compher – Denis Malgin
Andrew Cogliano – Lars Eller – Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto – Alex Newhook – Alex Galchenyuk
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson – Brad Hunt
Expected Toronto Maple Leafs Lines, per DailyFaceoff.com
Calle Jarnkrok – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Michael Bunting – John Tavares – William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot – Sam Lafftery – Noel Acciari
Zach Aston-Reese – David Kampf
Morgan Rielly – T.J. Brodie
Jake McCabe – Justin Holl
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 24.3%, 6th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79%, 18th in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Power Play: 25.6%, 2nd in NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs Penalty Kill: 80.7%, 13th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: TNT, Sportsnet
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Sports Radio
Game Time: 5:00 PM MST