The Colorado Avalanche (27-12-5) look to bounce back after an overtime loss last night to the New York Islanders by the final of 2-1. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon would collect Colorado’s lone goal for his 15th of the year as Andre Benoit and Jamie McGinn picked up the points.
Speaking of Nathan MacKinnon, the rook is on fire as he has scored five goals in the teams last four games. He also leads all first-year players with 29 points and has two goals and one assist against the Wild in his young career. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov had his four-game win streak snapped last night but the offense couldn’t get anything going. He was good, stopping 22-of-24 shots for a .917% save percentage. Here is what head coach Patrick Roy said about the teams home stand where they finished 4-1-2 via ESPN:
“You wanted to pick up as many points as possible and I think 10 out of 14 is pretty good,” coach Patrick Roy said. “It was a hard-fought game. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the game but I thought we did a lot of good things out there. We battled and defensively we played well. We didn’t give them too many chances.”
The Wild have a player that is hot as well in Justin Fontaine. In the Wild’s last game against the Phoenix Coyotes, he completed the hat-trick as the Wild would defeat the Coyotes by the final of 4-1. The Wild are winners of four-straight and look for five tonight against the Avs.
Projected Starting Goaltenders:
Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov: 20-8-5, 2.36 GAA.
Minnesota Wild: Niklas Backstrom: 5-9-2, 3.06 GAA.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 16.
Minnesota Wild: Jason Pominville, 18.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 22.
Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu, 35.
Shots on Goal:
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 133.
Minnesota Wild: Zach Parise, 144.
Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly will return to the lineup after missing last night’s game with a shoulder injury he suffered against the Calgary Flames.
The Denver Nuggets (18-17) are riding high right now after a big win against the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. Denver will play host to the Orlando Magic Saturday night. The win over the Thunder would be the Nuggets fourth-straight win after an eight-game skid. The streak could be a benefit of different players chipping in like Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, J.J. Hickson, Evan Fournier, but one player has stood out for the Nuggets and that’s Randy Foye. Foye has averaged 18.5 points per game during the teams four-game win streak and has shot nearly 56.5% percent. He scored what was a season-high 23 points against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday then came back Thursday night dropping 24 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The team as a whole has been playing outstanding during their four-game run. They have shot an even 50.0% percent from the field and 43.4% percent from behind-the-arc averaging 119.5 points per game. Denver might not see their former player Arron Afflalo in uniform tonight as he has been battling a foot and ankle injury. The guard was with the Nuggets from 2010-12′ and was traded to the Orlando Magic in the four-team deal for Andre Iguodala who is no longer with the team. Forward Wilson Chandler will be out for the second-straight game with a groin injury along with forward Anthony Randolph.
Projected Starting Line-Ups:
PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Quincy Miller
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: J.J. Hickson