Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Colorado will play Arizona in the back half of a back-to-back on Saturday with both games on Arizona’s home ice.
Colorado has lost two straight and is 9-6-1 with 19 points. The Avalanche are 5th in the West division four points behind the first place Vegas Golden Knights. Colorado’s most recent loss was to the Minnesota Wild 6-2 on Thursday. Colorado has had problems putting the puck in the net of late as the Avalanche have scored a combined 9 goals in the last five games that have resulted in three losses. The Avalanche has been shut out in two of the last five games played.
Arizona’s most recent game with Colorado was postponed. The Coyotes have won each of the last two with both victories against Anaheim with identical scores 4-3. Arizona is 9-7-3 with 21 points and is tied for third place with the Los Angeles Kings one point behind second-place St Louis and two points behind first-place Vegas. Arizona has relied on its Blue Line and goaltending that is allowing an average of 2.79 goals per game. The Coyotes are below average in the attack zone scoring an average of 2.63 goals per game.
Colorado needs a spark on offense
Colorado is scoring an average of 2.88 goals per game this season but over the last five games has averaged just 1.80 goals per game and has been shut out in two of those five games. The leading goal scorer for Colorado is Mikko Rantanen with 7, while Brandon Saad has scored six. Nathan MacKinnon is the assist leader with 14, while Cale Makar has 12 assists. MacKinnon is also the overall points leader for Colorado with 18. The Avalanche have scored 15 power play goals and our scoring 23.1% of the time with the man advantage.
Philipp Grubauer has been nearly a one man show in goal for Colorado appearing in 14 of the first 16 games for the Avalanche. Grubauer is 9-5-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. Grubauer has posted two shutouts in his 14 appearances. Hunter Miska has made just two appearances for Colorado and is 0-1-1 with a goals-against average of 3.55 and save percentage of .881. The penalty kill unit for Colorado is holding opponents scoreless 88.7% of the time.
Injury Report: Brandon Saad is questionable for Saturday, while Pavel Francouz and Erik Johnson are out indefinitely, and Dennis Gilbert is due back in early April.
Arizona Lacks Scoring Punch
The Arizona Coyotes are scoring an average of just 2.63 goals per game and the power play unit has scored only 20.3% of the time with the man advantage. Christian Dvorak has a team-high nine goals, while Connor Garland and Phil Kessel each have scored 7 goals. The assists leader for Arizona is Garland with 11 and the right wing is also the points leader with 18. Arizona has scored only 14 power-play goals this season through the first 19 games.
Good morning, Arizona. It’s game day. ☀️ pic.twitter.com/PDo25NQ87D
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 26, 2021
Darcy Kuemper has appeared in 16 of Arizona’s games this season and is 6-7-3 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Quimper has one shutout and has allowed only 38 goals across 16 appearances. Antti Raanta has the next highest number of appearances for Arizona with three and is 2-0-1 with a 3.63 goals against average and .902 save percentage. The Arizona penalty-kill unit is holding opponents scoreless 83.1% of the time
Injury Report: Antti Raanta is questionable for Saturday.
- Arizona is 17-41 in the last 58 in the second half of a back-to-back
- Colorado is 18-8 in the last 26 on the road
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Colorado has lost each of its last two, but the Avalanche have one of the better defenses and goaltenders in the NHL. Philipp Grubauer and company are allowing an average of only 2.38 goals per game and on the road the Avalanche have won 18 of the last 26. The two will be playing the back half of a back-to-back after playing on Friday and Arizona has lost 41 of the last 58 on 0 days rest. The Avalanche have won 4 of the last five head-to-head with Arizona. The Coyotes are scoring only 2.63 goals per game and will be up against one of the toughest goalies in the NHL.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
With Philipp Grubauer in net Colorado has seen the total finish under in five of their last six and in 43 of the last 68 when playing the third game of a 3-in-4 situation. Colorado and Arizona each have strength in goal as the Avalanche are allowing an average of only 2.38 goals per game and Arizona is allowing an average of only 2.79 goals per game.