Colorado Avalanche vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction JANUARY 8th 2024

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The Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of a tough portion of their schedule, and they passed the first two tests with comeback overtime wins over the New York Islanders and Dallas Stars.

They failed miserably against a hot Florida Panthers team on Saturday. Next up are the Boston Bruins, who are tied for the most points in the Eastern Conference, on Monday night in Denver.

Colorado is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games but the taste of an 8-4 loss to Florida is sour. The Panthers had a 3-0 lead before the fans settled into their seats. The Avalanche tied it twice before Florida had a flurry of goals in the third period.

It was only one loss, but there were bigger implications, namely the play of backup goaltender Ivan Prosvetov. He allowed the first three goals on just four shots and was pulled after the fourth goal, forcing Alexandar Georgiev to give up his off day.

Coach Jared Bednar had hoped to give Georgiev, who had played in nine straight games, a rest before playing Boston and then Vegas on Wednesday night, but that plan was scrapped. Now he might play without a break for the foreseeable future.

“We’re in a stretch with no easy games coming up,” Bednar said. “There’s no easy games, period, but especially in the stretch we’re in. We’ve got another four straight against the top opponents in the league. Georgie has played 10 in a row so we’ll see.”

Colorado is without defenseman Bowen Byram due to a lower-body injury suffered in the win over Dallas on Thursday night. He was placed on injured reserve on Saturday and will be out for at least seven days.

Avalanche forward Miles Wood was scratched from Saturday’s game for an undisclosed reason, but he might be back in the lineup on Monday night with Ben Meyers reassigned to the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League.

After losing to the hottest team in the NHL, the Avalanche pivot to face another team on a roll. The Bruins have won five of their last six out of the holiday break and are coming off a 7-3 home win over Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

Boston has shaken off the disappointing first-round exit last spring to again compete for the most points in the league. Monday kicks off a six-day, four-game road trip against Western Conference teams.

“We’re building here,” said Morgan Geekie, who was one of six Bruins players to score a goal Saturday night. “I think we’re taking steps in the right direction, and our compete level is just going up. I think we’re starting to execute along those lines, too.

“We’re going to take it on the road with us and just try to get better each day out there.”

Boston played Saturday without veteran James van Riemsdyk for undisclosed reasons and his status for Monday and beyond is unknown.

The Bruins recalled Jesper Boqvist from AHL affiliate Providence on Saturday and he logged 11:22 of ice time in the win over the Lightning.

–Field Level Media

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