Dec 10, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) checks Phoenix Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Game 60 Preview: Phoenix Coyotes (27-21-11, 65 Points) vs. Colorado Avalanche (37-17-5, 79 Points)


The Colorado Avalanche (37-17-5, 79 points) came back from the Winter Olympic Break Wednesday night at home against the Los Angeles Kings and coughed up a 4-2 lead as the Kings scored four unanswered goals to win, 6-4. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon continues to shine in his first-year in the NHL as he recorded a point in the loss Wednesday night, extending his point streak to nine games.

What: NHL Regular Season.  vs. 
When: Friday, February 28th
Where: Pepsi Center
Time: 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT.
TV: Altitude Sports

This is the third and final meeting between the two Western Conference clubs this season as the current series is tied at one apiece. The Phoenix Coyotes took the most recent meeting back on Dec. 10th at the Pepsi Center as Antoine Vermette stole the show by scoring two goals. Coyotes goaltender Thomas Greiss played very solid as well, giving up just one goal on 30 attempts, .967% save percentage. Colorado’s enforcer Patrick Bordeleau believe it or not scored their lone goal.

Here is what Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog had to say after the loss to the Kings Wednesday night via NHL.com:

“I don’t think that [the Kings] did anything different. But I think that we started getting a little … making bad decisions with the puck and even without the puck. In the D zone, we kind of got hemmed in a little bit and didn’t box out,” captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “You know, [the Kings are] a good team, but it definitely feels like we should have won this one.”

The Avalanche lacked defensive intensity and effort on Wednesday as they were without their best d-man Erik Johnson. Johnson will serve his second and final game of a two-game suspension he received against the New York Islanders. Maxime Talbot missed Colorado’s game on Wednesday night due to the birth of his newborn and is expected to be back in the lineup Friday night.

The Avs would also announce they have signed Marc-Andre Cliche to a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season.

Projected Starting Goaltenders:

Phoenix Coyotes: Mike Smith – 20-17-9, 2.77 GAA, .913 save percentage.

Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov – 28-11-5, 2.48 GAA, .924% save percentage.

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Tags: Colorado Avalanche