The Colorado Avalanche will travel to the FLA Live Arena on Thursday night to take on the Florida Panthers in a non-division matchup. The Avalanche are sitting tied for fourth in the Central Division (1-2-0, 2 points) and are coming off a 6-3 road loss against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The Panthers are tied for the lead in the Atlantic Division (3-0-0, 6 points) and are coming off a 4-1 road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
No Comp for CompherThe Colorado Avalanche continue to be a top offense in the NHL and one of the biggest reasons why is the play of left winger J.T. Compher. It seems that they are dealing with injuries as four players are listed on the injury report. He has been doing well as he leads the team in points and goals as he has four points (two goals, two assists) during the 2021 season. In his last game against the Washington Capitals as he had a goal and an assist on two shots on 20:26 on the ice. MacKinnon will be the best passer on the ice and it can be the difference between a win and a loss while they are trying to start the season on the right foot in the Central Division.
Darcy Kuemper has been doing decently well this season as the goalie for the Colorado Avalanche. In his previous game against the Washington Capitals, he finished giving up five goals on 39 shots. Colorado, as a team, allowed 13 goals last season, which ends up being 25th in the league. They are league average in power-play goals against (2) and power plays against (8), so this defense can be used as a huge strength when shortened. It will be interesting to see how the Avalanche decide to defend as Kuemper has allowed nine goals in the last two games.
Center of AttentionThe Florida Panthers have been solid in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Aleksander Barkov, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. There are only one player on the injury report so they are relatively healthy here. He leads the team in points as he has five points (two goals, three assists) this season. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he finished with a goal and an assist on two shots during his 22:46 on the ice. Barkov has a chance to have a big year as they are going through a tough beginning of their schedule.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been the main goalie for the Florida Panthers this season and will be starting here. He has been solid this season as he is 2-0-0 with 2.47 goals percentage and a 93.5 save percentage. He finished his last game against the New York Islanders by allowing one goal on 30 shots in a win. The Panthers have allowed six goals this season, which is sixth in the league. The defense has been solid, even as it was shortened in power plays as they allowed three goals on 19 attempts (84.21 kill percentage). Colorado is one of the best offensive teams in the NHL so it will be an interesting matchup.
- Colorado: 14-3 in their last 17 vs Atlantic
- Colorado: 5-1 in their last 6 games vs Eastern Conference