Mon, Apr 5, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Colorado Avalanche (25-8-4, 54 points) hit the road to take on the Minnesota Wild (23-11-2, 48 points) on Monday, April 5, at 8 PM ET.
The Avalanche have won four in a row to overtake the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the West Division. Colorado leads the Golden Knights by four points.
Minnesota has won two in a row to pull into sole possession of third place in the West Division. A win tonight coupled with a Vegas loss could move the Wild into a tie for second place.
The Avalanche lead the eight-game regular-season series with the Wild 4-2 and have won the last two games by scores of 6-0 and 5-1. The series comes to an end on Wednesday night.
Colorado is 8-0-2 in the last 10 games, while Minnesota is 6-3-1.
The most recent game for the Avalanche resulted in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Cale Makar scored with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation to lift Colorado to its fourth straight win.
Nathan MacKinnon had the other goal for the Avalanche and goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots. The Avalanche are 12-0-2 in their last 14 games.
The Avalanche are on the road for 14 of their final 19 games in the regular season.
“We’re in a fight, a race to try and get home ice and put ourselves in the best possible position we can for the playoffs and our guys are taking it to heart,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “They’re coming out every night with the right mindset and attitude and desire to win the hockey game. I expect that to continue down the stretch.”
The goal for MacKinnon was the 203rd of his career, moving him past Peter Forsberg for third all-time in franchise history since the organization moved in 1995 to Denver.
The Minnesota Wild picked up a 2-1 win over Vegas the last time they hit the ice, becoming the first team this season to sweep a two-game series in Vegas against the Golden Knights.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots in the victory. Talbot recorded the victory in the previous game against the Golden Knights, which ended in a shootout.
“Every guy knew we had a little bit more to give after those San Jose games,” Talbot said. “Tonight I thought was one of our more complete games of the season. We stuck with it in the third period. That’s a big character win, and two big wins in this building.”
Since March 12, Talbot has a 6-1-1 record with a 1.72 goals-against average heading into the second game against Vegas.
Joel Erikkson Ek scored the eventual game-winning goal in the third period for the Wild.
“We had scoring chances the whole game, just (stayed) with it,” Erikkson Ek said. "We know we can score. Being around the net is going to make us score. Kirill was slapping his stick on the ice and I just tried to get it through (on his goal). On (my) goal, it was just a broken play and I just tried to stay with it and was lucky it went in.”
The injury list is vast for tonight's game and includes the following players:
The Avalanche are 1.5-goal favorites on the road against the Wild tonight. Colorado also has the -170 money line. Both teams have played well of late but the Avalanche are surging right now. Place a wager on the Avalanche at -1.5 to win tonight against the Wild.