The Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators are both fighting for one of the last playoff seeds in the Western Conference. On Tuesday night, the two teams met at Pepsi Center -- and the results were not pretty for Avalanche fans. Fresh off the 4-1 debacle, these teams reconvene in Nashville for their second meeting of the week.
For Colorado, Thursday's game marks the return of a long-forgotten face. Forward Peter Mueller has not played in an NHL game since October 12, 2011. He has only played three games in the past 20 months due to lingering symptoms from multiple concussions. The forgotten forward has been cleared from the Injury Reserve list and will be in the active lineup tonight, hoping to boost an Avalanche team that is sorely lacking in scoring depth since the injury to Matt Duchene in December.
Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start in net tonight for Colorado. Defenseman Erik Johnson is also expected to return to the lineup after missing the last game with an injured hand.
For the Predators, another victory against Colorado would create some separation and position them in solid playoff position with their division rivals in Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis. Even with limited offensive threats in their lineup, the Predators are one of the toughest teams to play against in the league. Pekka Rinne is enjoying yet another All-Star caliber season, and forward Patric Hornqvist is on pace for another 25+ goal season. Sergei Kostitsyn has been hot lately as well, with four goals in their past 10 games.
Puck drops at 6:00 p.m. MDT
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Predators blog On The Forecheck.