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Avalanche at Blues preview

Colorado is 8-0-1 in past nine games; Thomas looking to extend point streak to five for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (21-8-3) at BLUES (20-8-6)



The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will try to extend their point streak to 10 games when they play the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Monday.

Colorado is 8-0-1 in its past nine games and has outscored its opponents 36-17 in that span. Philipp Grubauer will start after missing the past three games because of a lower-body injury.

St. Louis has won two in a row, including a 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in which it rallied from down three goals in the third to win for the second time in its history.

The Blues defeated the Avalanche 3-1 in St. Louis on Oct. 21, and are 14-2-1 in their past 17 games against Colorado.


Players to watch

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has six points (two goals, four assists) in a four-game point streak.

Blues forward Robert Thomas has six points (one goal, five assists) in a four-game point streak and is playing in his 100th NHL game.


They said it

"These guys are such a good team and they're so hard to play against. There's a reason why they're the defending champions and they have a good chance of winning again. They're a deep team. Their top four [defensemen] are the toughest to play against, I think." -- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon 

"There's a tendency for our group when we play against those high-level teams, we seem to just show up and be more consistent with it. We know it's going to be a hard game and I think we're a little more prepared for it. ... I think we all to a man know we have to be on tonight or these guys will make us pay." -- Blues center Ryan O'Reilly


Avalanche projected lineup

Andre Burakovsky -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joonas Donskoi

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nazem Kadri -- Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Calvert

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- J.T. Compher

Nikita Zadorov -- Samuel Girard

Ryan Graves -- Ian Cole

Calle Rosen -- Mark Barberio

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Vladislav Kamenev, Anton Lindholm

Injured: Erik Johnson (lower body), Cale Makar (upper body), Colin Wilson (lower body)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Jordan Kyrou

Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Robert Thomas -- Tyler Bozak 

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Jacob de la Rose -- Oskar Sundqvist

Justin Faulk -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko 

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Troy Brouwer, Niko Mikkola

Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Sammy Blais (wrist), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Ivan Barbashev (upper body)


Status report

Makar and Johnson did not make the two-game road trip that concludes Wednesday at the Blackhawks. ... Barbashev was injured late in the second period against Chicago on Saturday and will not play. Sanford, who missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, will replace him.


Stat pack

Nichushkin has four points (three goals, one assist) in a four-game point streak. ... Schenn needs two points for 400 in the NHL.

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