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Avalanche at Blues preview

MacKinnon looks to join elite list for Colorado; St. Louis has lost four in row

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (7-0-1) at BLUES (3-2-3)

8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-MW, ALT, NHL.TV


The Game

Nathan MacKinnon will try to extend his season-opening point streak to nine games for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Monday.

The center has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight games, one from his NHL career high set last season (15 points; eight goals, seven assists).

Colorado's eight-game run without a regulation loss is the longest to start a season since the Montreal Canadiens began 2016-17 with a 10-game point streak (9-0-1). The Avalanche also started the 2000-01 season 9-0 with two ties en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Blues have lost four in a row (0-2-2) and hope to avoid their first five-game losing streak since going 0-6-1 from Feb. 11-28, 2018.


Players to watch

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in eight games.

Blues center Ryan O'Reilly has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 10 games against the Avalanche.


They said it

"It's been good so far. We found a way to win even though we haven't played our best some nights. That's what good teams do, they find a way." -- Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen

"At times, we're doing things well, but we have to get back to reinventing ourselves. We know we're not going to win the same way as we did last year. We have to be able to keep growing our game and keep getting better. We have to just start building, building towards something that's much better and more our identity." -- Blues center Ryan O'Reilly


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Joonas Donskoi -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Colin Wilson

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- J.T. Compher

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Cale Makar -- Nikita Zadorov

Ian Cole -- Ryan Graves

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin

Injured: None


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Sammy Blais -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist

Colton Parayko -- Alex Pietrangelo

Vince Dunn -- Justin Faulk

Jay Bouwmeester -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robby Fabbri, Zach Sanford

Injured: Carl Gunnarsson (lower body)


Status report

Gunnarsson will miss his second straight game and has not skated since he was injured against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 17. ... Fabbri is expected to be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.


Stat pack

MacKinnon can become the fifth player in NHL history with a season-opening point streak of at least nine games in consecutive seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky (30 games, 1982-83; 51 games, 1983-84; 16 games, 1984-85 and nine games, 1985-86), Charlie Simmer (nine games, 1979-80 and 13 games, 1980-81), Guy Lafleur (10 games, 1975-76 and 10 games, 1976-77) and Rod Gilbert (nine games, 1971-72 and 14 games, 1972-73) ... Zadorov will play in his 300th NHL game. ... Tarasenko has five points (two goals, three assists) in four-game point streak. ... Schenn has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past seven games.

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