Skip to main content
game preview

Coyotes at Avalanche preview

Landeskog returns from injury for Colorado; Arizona tries to tie for second wild card from West

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

COYOTES (37-33-7) at AVALANCHE (35-29-13)



The Game

Gabriel Landeskog will return for the Colorado Avalanche when they host the Arizona Coyotes at Pepsi Center on Friday.

Landeskog, Colorado's captain, missed the past nine games with an upper-body injury. He is Colorado's third-leading scorer with 69 points (33 goals, 36 assists) in 68 games. He'll play left wing with center Carl Soderberg and right wing Colin Wilson.

The Avalanche lead the Coyotes by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; each team has five games remaining. The Avalanche, 5-0-1 in their past six games, are five points behind the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card.

The Coyotes will tie the Avalanche at 83 points with a regulation win. They are two points ahead of the Minnesota Wild. Arizona is fourth in the Pacific Division, nine points behind the third-place Vegas Golden Knights. The Coyotes ended a five-game losing streak (0-3-2) Tuesday with a 1-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.


Players to watch

Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper is 12-5-2 in his past 19 starts with a 1.78 goals-against average, a .941 save percentage and three shutouts.

Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer is 5-0-1 in his past six starts with a 1.49 goals-against average, a .958 save percentage and one shutout.


They said it

"These are the fun games, there's no feeling like it. You use that energy to play, enjoy the moment. Embrace this, trust yourself and have fun." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

"It's high-stakes hockey, the games you want to play in and coach. It's playoff hockey." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Coyotes projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Lawson Crouse -- Derek Stepan -- Josh Archibald

Michael Grabner -- Christian Dvorak -- Clayton Keller

Alex Galchenyuk - Nick Cousins -- Mario Kempe

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Alex Goligoski -- Jason Demers

Kevin Connauton -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Jakob Chychrun, Christian Fischer, Conor Garland, Ilya Lyubushkin

Injured: Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body)


Avalanche projected lineup

Alexander Kerfoot -- Nathan MacKinnon -- J.T. Compher

Gabriel Landeskog -- Carl Soderberg - Colin Wilson

Derick Brassard -- Tyson Jost -- Matt Calvert

Matt Nieto - Sven Andrighetto -- Gabriel Bourque

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Patrik Nemeth

Philipp Grubauer

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Andrew Agozzino, Ryan Graves

Injured: Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder), Mikko Rantanen (upper body)


Status report

The Avalanche signed forward Shane Bowers to a three-year, entry-level contract Friday; he will report to Colorado of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout contract. The 19-year-old had 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games this season, his second at Boston University. The Avalanche acquired Bowers, the No. 28 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, on Nov. 5, 2017, in the three-way trade that sent center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators.


Stat pack

Ekman-Larsson has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past eight games. … Barrie has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.