NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Thursday’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche. Coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Avalanche ended the year on a bad note and enter 2020 on a three-game losing streak. They lost six of their final eight games of 2019 (2-5-1), a run which began with a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on December 16. The Avs allowed five-plus goals in four of those six losses, including a season-high seven goals in a 7-4 loss in their last game against Winnipeg, despite outshooting the Jets 43-26.
With St. Louis hosting the All-Star Game later this month for the first time since 1988, three Blues were selected to the Central Division team: Ryan O’Reilly (third selection), Alex Pietrangelo (second selection) and Jordan Binnington (first selection). For the Avalanche, Nathan MacKinnon was voted by the fans as captain of the Central team, his fourth-straight All-Star selection and second straight year being voted captain. However, he did not participate in the All-Star Game last year due to a bruised foot.
Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals in Colorado’s loss against Winnipeg on New Year’s Eve, bringing his season total to 24 goals (tied-fourth in NHL). His 58 points (fifth in NHL) are 29 more than any other Avalanche player (Cale Makar is second on Colorado with 29 points). MacKinnon, who has just narrowly missed reaching 100 points in each of the last two seasons, is currently on pace for 118 points this year, which would be the most by an Avalanche player since Joe Sakic tallied 118 points in 2000-01 en route to winning the Hart Trophy and Stanley Cup.
Jordan Binnington made his first career NHL start on January 7, 2019, keeping a shutout in a 3-0 win against the Flyers. Binnington went on to win 43 regular season games in the calendar year, the most of any goaltender in the league. His 59 total wins in 2019 (regular season and playoffs) were tied for the second-most in a calendar year in league history. After winning the Stanley Cup, Binnington signed a new two-year, $8.8 million contract with St. Louis, and was recently selected to his first All- Star Game. Binnington has won his last six starts (6-0-0, .921 SV%, 2.15 GAA)
WHAT: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche
WHERE: Pepsi Center
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 2, 9:30 p.m. ET
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Blues-Avalanche stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Starting goalie: Jordan Binnington
Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Joonas Donskoi
Matt Calvert – Nazem Kadri – Valeri Nichushkin
Matt Nieto – J.T. Compher – Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Andre Burakovsky
Starting goalie: Philipp Grubauer
John Forslund and Brian Boucher will call the action from Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.