8 p.m. at Colorado • Pepsi Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Avs a tough foe at home, in openers
Preview: The Wild debuts on the road for a fourth consecutive season. It’s 9-6-2 all-time in season openers. As for the Avalanche, it’s gone 21-10-7 in first games. Colorado went 28-11-2 on home ice last season.
Players to watch: Center Nathan MacKinnon finished second in Hart Trophy voting last season for league MVP. Winger Mikko Rantanen is coming off an 84-point campaign. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov is 6-5 and 230 pounds.
Numbers: The Wild went 1-3 against the Avalanche last season. Forward Charlie Coyle has eight goals in 27 career games against the Avalanche, his best output against any NHL team. MacKinnon and Rantanen combined for 68 goals and 181 points last season. Goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to make his eighth opening-night start in a row for the Avalanche, passing Patrick Roy’s franchise record from 1996 to 2002.
Injuries: Wild F Luke Kunin (torn ACL) is out. Avalanche Fs Sven Andrighetto (lower body) and Vladislav Kamenev (lower body) and Ds Anton Lindholm (shoulder) and Conor Timmins (concussion) are also out.