For the final matchup in Ball Arena before the start of the playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche host the Nashville Predators in their Fan Appreciation night presented by Ball. The contest begins at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday.
After a four-game slide, Colorado picked up a win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Valeri Nichushkin (1G, 1A), Alex Newhook (2A) and J.T. Compher (2A) each had two points to lead the team.
The Avs will play their final home game of the regular season before traveling to face the Minnesota Wild on Friday. That contest will be the last of the season.
Samuel Girard (47th overall in 2016) was a second-round selection by the Predators and began his NHL career in Nashville… Predators center Matt Duchene was the Avalanche’s first-round pick in 2009 (No. 3 overall) and spent his first eight-plus seasons in Colorado… The Preds’ Rocco Grimaldi played games for the Avs in two seasons from 2016-2018.
Colorado owns a 36-38-8 record against Nashville all-time. This season, the two teams have matched up three times. The Avs secured a 6-2 victory over Nashville in November, but the following two matchups were won by the Predators, including one contest in overtime.
After missing four straight games due to a minor injury, Devon Toews returned for the Avalanche against St. Louis with a plus/minus of two, two blocks and 24 minutes spent on ice.
SCOUTING THE PREDATORS
Nashville is currently on a three-game slide, having lost to three playoff teams in Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Calgary. Nashville has clinched a playoff spot, currently in the first wild-card spot in the west and tied with Dallas at 95 points on the season.
Nashville ranks fifth in the league in power play percentage (24.6%) and 19th in the league in penalty kill (78.9%).
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Mikael Granlund
Center Mikael Granlund currently holds second on the Preds in assists this season, totaling 51 in 78 games played. In Nashville’s two most recent contests, Granlund had back-to-back triple assist games.
Avalanche defensemen have scored 63 goals this season, the most since the 1992-93 Capitals which totaled 94.
Artturi Lehkonen‘s goal nine seconds into the third period against the Blues is the third fastest goal to start a period in Avalanche history.
Erik Johnson has scored 68 goals with Colorado, tying him for third place by a defenseman in franchise history.
The Colorado Avalanche tied the single season franchise record with 118 points. The last Avs team to reach this mark was the 2000-01 title team. The team has put together 56 wins this season, four more wins than the 2000-01 team.