St. Louis at Colorado
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 7, 2018
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Colorado Avalanche try to go from the NHL’s worst team in 2016-17 to the postseason when they host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday in a showdown for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Colorado trails the Blues by one point and needs a regulation win to clinch the second wild-card spot after St. Louis knocked off Chicago 4-1 on Friday.
“This is Game 7 for us. This is what you play for,” Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio told the Denver Post. “These are moments that every player wants to play in. We have a chance to get in the playoffs.” Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog told reporters, “The Pepsi Center will be buzzing” as the Avalanche attempt to keep St. Louis out of the playoffs for the first time since 2010-11, and the Blues will have Jake Allen in net after he was rested in the victory over Chicago. St. Louis snapped a four-game slide (0-3-1) with Friday’s win while Colorado has limped home with five setbacks in its last six contests (1-4-1) after Thursday’s 4-2 defeat at San Jose. “There’s work to be done, but now we know what we need (Saturday),” Blues coach Mike Yeo told reporters. “These are games that you dream of. So as a player, you have to embrace that and get excited about it.”TV:
9 p.m. ET, NHL Network, FS Midwest (St. Louis), Altitude (Colorado)ABOUT THE BLUES (44-31-6):
Patrik Berglund recorded a hat trick in Friday’s victory over the Blackhawks, has scored five times in as many games and has collected 11 goals and 22 points in 39 career contests against the Avalanche. All-Star Brayden Schenn increased his career-high total to 68 points with an assist on Friday to lead the team - two more than Vladimir Tarasenko, who tops St. Louis with 33 goals. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has cooled off with three points in his last nine games while Alex Steen has managed just one point in his last six contests.ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (42-30-9):
Nathan MacKinnon may have lost a chance at the Hart Trophy with a nine-game goal-scoring drought, but he has collected six assists in that stretch to push his team-leading total to 95 points. Landeskog also has been held without a goal for nine contests while their linemate, Mikko Rantanen, has recorded three points in four games but owns a minus-6 rating in that span. Barberio returned to the lineup Thursday after missing more than two months with a lower-body injury and blocked five shots.OVERTIME
1. The Blues won the first two matchups this season, but the Avalanche took the last one 4-1 on March 15.
2. Colorado C Carl Soderberg is slated to play in his 400th NHL game on Saturday but is mired in a six-game point drought.
3. St. Louis RW Chris Thorburn, who scored his only goal of the season on March 30 versus Vegas, may appear in his 800th career contest on Saturday.PREDICTION:
Avalanche 4, Blues 3
Stats and Records