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Projected Lineup: Avalanche at Blue Jackets

It is the fourth contest of Colorado's five-game road trip

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Colorado Avalanche is not expected to make any changes to its lineup tonight when it takes on the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Philipp Grubauer will once again be in net for the contest, the first half of a back-to-back set for the Avalanche as the team also plays at the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Colorado will play a total of 12 back-to-backs this season and has posted a 5-3-0 mark in the first game when playing on consecutive days and is 3-4-1 in the second half.

It is the fourth of a five-game road trip for the Avs and Grubauer has been between the pipes for each contest, going 2-1-0 on the journey. The Avalanche opened the road swing with a loss in Philadelphia before rebounding with a 6-1 win at the Buffalo Sabres and a 4-1 victory at the Ottawa Senators.

Colorado is 5-1-0 in its last six games and 5-1-2 in its last eight while the Blue Jackets are 9-0-1 in its last 10 and are coming off a 2-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Columbus last night.

"Obviously highly committed team to their defensive structure, doing a great job keeping pucks and traffic away from their net," Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said of the Blue Jackets. "They are getting great goaltending, chipping in on the offensive side of things and they are the hottest team in the NHL right now. So, should be a fun game tonight. I feel like we have kind of found our stride here a little bit going into the break and coming out of the break we have been playing pretty good so it should be a fun one tonight."

The Avalanche and Blue Jackets are meeting for the second and final time this season. The Avs won 4-2 in the first matchup on Nov. 9 in Denver.

Cale Makar scored twice in that outing, the first multi-goal game of his NHL career. Nazem Kadri (one goal, one assist) and Tyson Jost (two assists) also recorded multi-point games, while goalie Pavel Francouz made 39 saves.

Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on how the team began its previous game at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.

Forwards

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
11 Matt Calvert - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 17 Tyson Jost

Defensemen

27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole

Goaltenders

31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

Healthy Scratches: Vladislav Kamenev, Calle Rosen

Injury Report: Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)

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