The Colorado Avalanche finally beat the Vancouver Canucks this season, with an overtime victory on Tuesday thanks to David Jones' two goals. Colorado has now won two games in a row for the first time since December 19. With four games left on this homestand, the Avalanche welcome the Nashville Predators to Pepsi Center for their first meeting of the season.
Nashville comes into this game one of the hottest teams in the NHL, having won eight of their past 10 games (and scoring three or more goals in eight of those games). Because of this recent surge, the Predators find themselves in second place within the Central Division, despite not having a single player that has scored more than 30 points on the season (defenseman Shea Weber leads the club with 28 points). Goalie Pekka Rinne has carried them, sporting a .953 SV% during the streak and only allowing 12 goals in eight games played. The Predators are one of the stingiest teams in the league, allowing only 111 goals on the season. They don't score often either, placing in the bottom third of the league in goals scored, power play percentage, power play goals scored, and shorthanded goals.
Expect this game to be a matchup of opposites, as the Avalanche offense has shown signs of emerging from their month-long slump. Chris Stewart has returned from injury, though he has yet to tally a point. Tomas Fleischmann and Milan Hejduk have been carrying the offense of late, and they are finally getting some support in net. Goalie Craig Anderson has begun to play like a number one goalie for the first time all season, with a 2.43 GAA and a .923 SV% his previous seven starts.
Recent transactions leave the Avalanche a different team for this game. Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey will play for the first time since suffering a concussion on October 30. T.J. Galiardi has been sent down to Lake Erie, and former second round pick (2005) Ryan Stoa has been called up to take his place centering the third line, as Ryan O'Reilly will miss the next two weeks with a shoulder injury.
Craig Anderson and Pekka Rinne will be starting in goal.
Puck drops at 7:00 pm MST.