It’s another matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins, which means all eyes will be on two skaters.
Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby.
The two Nova Scotia natives will go head-to-head on national television Wednesday night. MacKinnon’s team has come out on top in two of the last three matchups, but that one loss came earlier this season, when the Penguins beat the Avalanche 2-1 in overtime. MacKinnon will look for some revenge against his good friend on Wednesday night.
MacKinnon will have a new linemate, as Evan Rodrigues will miss time due to a concussion. Denis Malgin will get the bump up to the top line, coming off a career high three point game.
The Avalanche will also get veteran Darren Helm back in the lineup. The 36 year old has missed all but five games this season. He played a key role in the team winning the Stanley Cup last summer.
For the Penguins, it’s now or never. With four straight losses, they’ve fallen out of a playoff position, for now. They sit just one point back of the Florida Panthers with one game in hand. This game means a lot to them.
Crosby continues to lead the way offensively, even in his 18th NHL season. He has 83 points in 70 games, and is one goal away from hitting 30 for the 11th time in his career.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Denis Malgin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook – J.T. Compher – Valeri Nichushkin
Andrew Cogliano – Lars Eller – Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto – Darren Helm – Alex Galchenyuk
Devon Toews – Samuel Girard
Jack Johnson – Bowen Byram
Kurtis MacDermid – Brad Hunt
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines, per pittsburghhockeynow.com
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 24.8%, 4th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79.3%, 17th in NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins Power Play: 21.2%, 15th in NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins Penalty Kill: 79.7%, 16th in NHL
How to Watch
Radio: Altitude Sports Radio 92.5
Game Time: 6:00 PM MST