Wed, Mar 31, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Colorado Avalanche (22-8-4, 2nd in the West) host the Arizona Coyotes (16-14-5, 5th in the West) on Wednesday, March 31, at 9:30 PM ET.
Colorado enters tonight with 48 points, just one behind division-leading Vegas. Arizona enters with 37 points and needs a win in this series in order to keep pace in the division.
If Colorado wins in regulation, the Avalanche will be able to keep pace with the Golden Knights or even overtake them for first if Vegas loses in regulation tonight.
Colorado is riding an 8-0-2 mark in its last 10 games, while Arizona has stumbled through a 4-4-2 mark.
The last time these teams met, Arizona came away with a much-needed 5-4 win in a shootout. Colorado leads the eight-game regular-season series 4-2. Only one game featured total goals scored of five or less and it was a 3-2 win for the Coyotes on March 8.
The Coyotes come into tonight riding a three-game win streak after taking down the San Jose Sharks 4-0 on Saturday.
Phil Kessel recorded his seventh career hat trick. It moved his goal tally for the season to 14, which he had all of last season. Goalie Adin Hill stopped 34 shots to record his second career shutout in the winning effort.
“It was a blast, obviously it feels good,” Kessel said. “I had an empty-netter and a lucky one in front of the net, but, hey, I’ll take it. I’m a little luckier than last year. I haven’t changed."
The Coyotes will be on the road for three weeks beginning with tonight's game.
“Sometimes those long trips define your season,” Kessel said. “We've got to battle through it.”
The game was scoreless after a back-and-forth opening period.
“The first was kind of a dangerous period,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “They carried the play. I liked the response after that. We’re in a game-to-game situation. We've got a big road trip. You can’t worry about the playoffs. Just go day-to-day.”
Colorado bounced back from a 5-2 loss to the Golden Knights with a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Philipp Grubauer saved 13 shots to record the 100th win of his career. He has recorded 57 wins with Colorado since joining the team prior to the 2018-2019 season. He now has 21 on the season.
“He’s been amazing for us and tonight was no different,” coach Jared Bednar said. “When we had breakdowns he was there to close the door and make the big saves when we needed them.”
The Avalanche have recorded at least one point in 11 straight games (9-0-2). Tyson Jost scored a goal in the second to assist in the victory.
“It was a great game for us,” Jost said. “We knew they were coming off a back-to-back and we wanted to get after them right away. It was a great effort by our team and we’re rolling right now, so we want to keep that up.”
The injury list for both teams has a handful of players:
The money line is -345 for Colorado tonight, which is also favored at -1.5. It's pretty hard to vote against a team that is 8-0-2 in its last 10 games, which is why you should place a bet on the Avalanche to win outright at -1.5 in tonight's West Division showdown.