If the Colorado Avalanche want to win the Central Division, they’ll need to beat teams like the Anaheim Ducks down the stretch.
Monday night will be one of two opportunities they’ll have to take down the Ducks in the final 10 games.
Just one day after an ugly win in Arizona, the Avalanche will have to play a fair bit better against a rested Ducks team. The return of Evan Rodrigues spread out the wealth a little bit up front, and expect the same group of forwards to dress again on Monday night.
The big change will likely come in net. Alexandar Georgiev played on Sunday, and Jared Bednar said that Jonas Johansson would start one of the two games on the trip before they left town. Expect to see Johansson in net against Anaheim. He won the last time he started a game for the Avalanche.
The Avalanche will catch a bit of a break on Monday, as Ducks star forward Troy Terry will miss the game. He is their second leading scorer, and one of only two 20 goal scorers on the roster. Without him in the lineup, the Avalanche can focus on center Trevor Zegras, who leads the team in scoring.
The last time these two teams met, the Ducks beat the Avalanche at Ball Arena back in late January. That was the last time the Avalanche lost to a non-playoff team. With 56 points, the Ducks are in the running for last place in the NHL.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Valeri Nichushkin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook – J.T. Compher – Evan Rodrigues
Andrew Cogliano – Darren Helm – Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto – Lars Eller – Denis Malgin
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson – Erik Johnson
Expected Anaheim Ducks Lines, per DailyFaceoff.com
Jones – Zegras – Strome
Nesterenko – McTavish – Megna
McGinn – Lundestrom – Leason
Comtois – Grant – Silfbergerg
Fowler – Harrington
Benoit – Shattenkirk
Beaulieu – White
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 25.6%, 4th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79.2%, 16th in NHL
Anaheim Ducks Power Play: 16.6%, 29th in NHL
Anaheim Ducks Penalty Kill: 73.1%, 29th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: ESPN +, Altitude 2
Radio: Altitude Sports Radio 92.5, AM 950
Game Time: 8:00 PM MST