Preview: Going back to Cali for a matchup with the Ducks

Mar 27, 2023 - 4:29 PM
NHL: JAN 19 Avalanche at Ducks
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have made the quick trip from Arizona to Anaheim for a late-night matchup with the Ducks on the heels of last night's shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The last time these two teams met, the Ducks bested the Avalanche 5-3. The Avalanche will have won nine of their previous ten games if they secure a victory this evening.

Colorado Avalanche

The hockey community was quick to point out that the Avalanche had the most manageable schedule heading into march, at least in terms of the strength of their opponents. They have taken advantage of a weaker late program, but this month of hockey has arguably been their best since last season's playoffs outside their competition.

They have the league's hottest powerplay, scoring in 11 straight games. That includes time without Cale Makar. Makar is the glue to the first powerplay unit for the Avalanche and elevates it from dangerous to legendary. He and Erik Johnson's return to the lineup benefit every player in the defensive group, as having nearly the entire group allows for a more even distribution of ice time. No more 30-minute nights for Makar, hopefully.

Projected Lineup:

Valeri Nichushkin — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook — J.T. Compher — Evan Rodrigues
Denis Malgin — Lars Eller — Matt Nieto
Andrew Cogliano — Darren Helm — Logan O'Connor

Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Samuel Girard — Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson — Erik Johnson

Anaheim Ducks

Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry are this Ducks team's leaders statistically and represent their franchise's future. Colorado will be pressed to limit their chances on a night that will likely feature a usual AHLer in net for the Avalanche.

The Ducks, like the Coyotes, have the tendency to be a thorn in Colorado’s side when they look like clear underdogs. Don’t get me wrong, the overall record between these two teams heavily favors Colorado, but look no further than January’s loss to the Ducks. Sure, the Avalanche have been banged up, but that’s never an excuse when you are playing a team that’s gonna have their logo on ping-pong balls at the draft lottery.

Projected Lineup:

Max Jones — Trevor Zegras — Ryan Strome
Nikita Nesterenko — Mason McTavish — Troy Terry
Brock McGinn — Isac Lundestrom — Brett Leason
Maxime Comtois — Derek Grant — Jakob Silfverberg

Cam Fowler — Scott Harrington
Simon Benoit — Kevin Shattenkirk
Nathan Beaulieu — Colton White


When wondering who will start for Colorado tonight, look no further than last night's backup Jonas Johansson. Johansson is no stranger to short-term stints with the big club and likes to use his larger frame to take away the net.

John Gibson is the unconfirmed starter for the Ducks tonight. Gibson has been one of the league's best tenders for quite some time, and although he's dropped off a bit statistically, he always has the potential to goalie the opposition. If you are an Avalanche fan, you are too familiar with staying up late to watch Gibson steal one for Anaheim.

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