The Colorado Avalanche (30-12-5, 65 points) are on the road tonight in Nashville as they are set to take on the Nashville Predators (21-21-7) at Bridgestone Arena. The Avs are coming off of a 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night as they collected their 30th win of the season. Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly scored in the shootout as Semyon Varlamov blanked the Devils for the win.
What: Game 48: Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators
When: Saturday, January 18th
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Time: 8:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM MT
TV: Altitude Sports
These two teams have already met twice this season as the Avalanche took the first game on October 4th by the final of 3-1. Most recently, the Nashville Predators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 in Denver. Predators center Colin Wilson had the Avs number as he scored two goals and added two assists. His teammate Viktor Stalberg would add a goal and assist of his own. Avalanche center Matt Duchene had a good game, scoring one goal while adding two assists. P.A. Parenteau, Ryan O’Reilly, and Paul Stastny would pick up the other three goals for the Avalanche.
Speaking of Ryan O’Reilly, he overtook the team lead in goals over Matt Duchene in the past week as he collected goal number 18 against the New Jersey Devils. O’Reilly has scored 15 points in the last 16, matching his career-high in goals set back in the 2011-12 season. Here is what O’Reilly told the teams website about his progression as a player:
“Every year you get better and better, (and) you learn about the game,” he told the team’s official website. “This year, playing with (Matt) Duchene and Ginner (Jamie McGinn) right now, they’re two really talented offensive guys. … It’s easy playing with those guys. If I keep playing smart, working hard, hopefully it works out for me.”
The Colorado Avalanche have received some good news of late as forwards Alex Tanguay and P.A. Parenteau are close to returning. Tanguay hasn’t been in the line-up since November 2nd when he crashed into the boards against the Montreal Canadiens. Here is what Tanguay had to say about his return date to The Denver Post:
“I’m expecting (to play). I’ve set a date in mind and I’m hoping to play by then,” Tanguay said. “Obviously, it’s been beyond frustrating. But I’ve just tried to come in and do the stuff I’ve needed to do on a daily basis.”
P.A. Parenteau on the other hand looked to suffer a severe knee injury on December 29th as the forward didn’t put any pressure on his left foot. He would later be diagnosed with a sprained left MCL. Parenteau said he hopes to be back in the line-up next Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here is what Parenteau had to say about the injury via The Denver Post:
“It wasn’t as bad as first thought. It was a quick recovery,” said Parenteau, who zipped all over the ice during practice Friday. “At first I was real scared. You never know, you could be out for the year. But they told me right away they didn’t think it was my ACL. I can’t wait to get back. I don’t think I’m made to watch games, really.”
Some more good news for the Avalanche as they expect to get center Paul Stastny back in the line-up tonight against the Predators after suffering a minor leg injury.
Projected Starting Goaltenders:
Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov 23-8-5, 2.29 GAA
Nashville Predators: Devan Dubnyk 11-17-2, 3.36 GAA (with EDM)
Last Ten Games:
Colorado Avalanche: 7-1-2
Nashville Predators: 4-3-3
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 40.
Nashville Predators: David Legwand, 33.
Colorado Avalanche: Ryan O’Reilly, 18.
Nashville Predators: Craig Smith, 14.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 24.
Nashville Predators: David Legwand, 25.
Colorado Avalanche: Cody McLeod, 80.
Nashville Predators: Richard Clune, 83.
Shots on Goal:
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 144.
Nashville Predators: Patric Hornqvist, 145.