Pittsburgh Penguins (49-24-5) @ Colorado Avalanche (50-21-6)
Root Sports, ALT, RDS2 – 8:00 pm/et
Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
The Avalanche are having a pretty great season. They’ve won six games in a row and are second in the Central Division. Matt Duchene is out with an injury though. Meanwhile, the Pens are just trying to survive.
EDIT: As per Rob Rossi, Crosby, Maatta, Jokinen and Orpik are all out tonight. That makes the rest of this post very wrong.
STATS, INFO & NOTES:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (36G, 66A: 102P)
Avalanche: Matt Duchene (23G, 47A: 70P)
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (37-18-4, 2.35 GAA, .916 Sv% )
Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov (40-14-5, 2.42 GAA, .927 Sv%)
Penguins: Lost to Minnesota Wild 4-0.
Avalanche: Defeated St. Louis Blues 4-0.
“This time last season, we were down deep in the Western Conference basement with only 39 points to our name. Our final home game on April 27th usured in a 3-1 loss to Minnesota, but it didn’t matter. The team was broken from the moment they stepped on the ice. Then they crumbled when their new golden Captain went out with a concussion 4 games in. Add in the O’Reilly and Las Vegas situations, and it was a utter train wreck complete with explosions that would have shamed even Michael Bay. We were thankful for that loss because it meant the pain was over and could concentrate fully on the single ray of hope that was the draft.
This year’s team though… this team. They started out like gang-busters playing fun, fast hockey. They won, which is a concept that had slowly departed the Mile High City over the past decade. It was exciting. Most expected them to fail down the road, and logically, they should have. But somehow, some way, they kept getting better as the season went on. They’ve beaten EVERY. SINGLE. TEAM. in the NHL at least once. They’re still somehow in the running for the President’s Trophy, an award they’ve not won since the spectacular 2000-01 team. They’re likely to get home ice advantage against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.”
What Happened Last Time: October 21, 2013 – Pens lost 1-0 [Our Recap]
“It also could’ve been just one of those games where a goalie refused to be beaten. The rise of the Colorado Avalanche is the story of the season thus far, and the Pens were in the way of that buzzsaw.”
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Sidney Crosby. Cole Harbour.
Avalanche Player(s) to Watch: Nathan MacKinnon. Cole Harbour.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines via Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Beau Bennett – Brandon Sutter – James Neal
Taylor Pyatt – Andrew Ebbett – Brian Gibbons
Tanner Glass – Craig Adams – Jayson Megna
Paul Martin – Brooks Orpik
Matt Niskanen – Olli Maatta
Robert Bortuzzo – Rob Scuderi
Colorado Avalanche lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – John Mitchell
Ryan O’Reilly – Nathan Mackinnon – Jamie McGinn
Patrick Bordeleau – Max Talbot – Marc-Andre Cliche
Ryan Wilson – Paul Carey – Brad Malone
Jan Hejda – Erik Johnson
Tyson Barrie – Nate Guenin
Nick Holden – Andre Benoit
Remember Max Talbot? He’s back, in Avalanche form!