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Avalanche Await Opponent, As Stars/Knights Going Seven

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Avalanche Ross Colton

Will it be the Dallas Stars or the Vegas Golden Knights in round two for the Colorado Avalanche? After three straight wins heading into Friday’s Game Six, I thought we’d all be booking our flights to Dallas by the end of the night.

The defending Stanley Cup champions had other ideas.

Vegas locked things down defensively, and got a strong performance in net by Adin Hill, winning 2-0 on home-ice Friday to force a Game Seven. That Game Seven will take place on Sunday night in Dallas, with the Avalanche awaiting the winner in round two.

There are pros and cons to each opponent from Colorado’s perspective. If Vegas wins, the Avalanche will have home-ice advantage in round two, something they would definitely prefer. On the flip side, for whatever reason, I think they match up better against Dallas, despite them being the better of the two teams. Regardless of who they end up playing, there are two people who are probably really happy the Avalanche will have to wait a few days to find out their opponent.

Joel Kiviranta and Jonathan Drouin.

The two wingers will now get a few extra days to get healthy prior to the start of round two. Drouin isn’t going to be ready for the start of the series, no matter when it starts, but with Vegas forcing a Game Seven, it might buy him enough time to be able to return before the Conference Finals.

Kiviranta is the closer of the two to returning, as he started skating on Friday afternoon. He didn’t look super comfortable from my point of view, but now he gets 1-2 more days to heal up. That might be just what he needs to feel strong enough to return for Game One.

Colorado will practice again on Saturday, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they get another day off on Sunday. Vegas and Dallas going to a Game Seven gives them that luxury. Jared Bednar now has some flexibility with a few extra days off.

The NHL hasn’t given us an either/or schedule for round two, so we’ll all be waiting around on Sunday night to see when the Avalanche actually play next. Stay tuned to Colorado Hockey Now for a full schedule and breakdown of Colorado’s round two opponent when we have some more clarity on the situation.

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