The Colorado Avalanche heads to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday at 4 p.m. MT in the first half of a home-and-home, back-to-back set during the preseason. Colorado and Minnesota will face off again on Sunday at 5 p.m. MT at Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche (0-2-0) is looking for its first win of the preseason after losing 2-1 at home to the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare scored for Colorado while goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 21-of-23 shots in his first work of the exhibition season.
Minnesota (0-2-0) has also yet to win a preseason contest in 2019-20, as it fell 4-1 at the Winnipeg Jets in its most recent outing on Wednesday. Nico Sturm scored the lone goal for the Wild midway in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild
Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, Minn.
|Game Time: 4:00 p.m. MT |
|TV: Fox Sports North Plus (MIN) |
|Radio: KKSE Altitude Sports, FM 92.5/AM 950 |
|Online Audio: Listen Live Here |
|Stream: NHL.tv, Fox Sports App (blackouts apply) |
Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is from Bloomington, Minnesota, and played one season at the University of Minnesota in 2006-07… Colorado defenseman Mark Alt grew up in Minnesota and was quarterback of his high school football team, winning a state championship his senior season and being named the state's player of the year… Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson played for the Avalanche (2003-04)… Minnesota's Nate Prosser played at Colorado College (2006-2009) while Jason Zucker played college hockey at the University of Denver (2010-2012).
The Avalanche went 1-1-0 against the Wild in the preseason last year. During the regular season in 2018-19, both teams went 2-2-0 with each winning one game at home and one on the road.
Colorado is 48-41-13 all-time against Minnesota during the regular season and has a 22-20-9 record at Xcel Energy Center.
Head coach Jared Bednar said following Friday's practice that the Avs' lineup for the first game against the Wild will be a mix of younger players and veterans.
Goaltender Pavel Francouz will make his preseason debut in net for the Avalanche after re-signing with the club in the offseason. Bednar said the plan is to have Francouz play the entire contest.
Colorado will announce its full game roster on Saturday.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (lower body)
Ian Cole (hips)
Erik Johnson (shoulder)
Colin Wilson (shoulder)
Nikita Zadorov (lower body)
After Saturday's game, Colorado has three preseason contests remaining, with outings versus the Wild, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars… Colorado opens the regular season at home on Oct. 3 against the Calgary Flames… The Avs went 3-3-0 in preseason games in 2018… Colorado played 11 back-to-back sets in 2018-19, going 5-3-3 in the first game and 4-3-4 in the second one.