The Colorado Avalanche will use the same lineup as it did in its last outing for today's Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues in Round 1 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Avs hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven set and are seeking their first series sweep in 20 years.
It is the fifth time that the Colorado/Quebec franchise has owned a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series, and it holds an all-time series record of 4-0 under that criteria. In two of those series, the Avs earned the clinching win in Game 4 (1996 Stanley Cup Final vs. Florida and 2001 Conference Quarterfinals vs. Vancouver).
Philipp Grubauer will be back between the pipes. He is 3-0 this postseason, the first Avalanche goaltender to win his first three starts of a playoff year since Jose Theodore in 2006. Through the three contests, the German netminder has a .944 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average.
The Avalanche's top line of Gabriel Landeskog (one goal, five assists), Nathan MacKinnon (five goals, two assists) and Mikko Rantanen (five assists) will remain together after the skaters have combined for 18 points and a plus-13 rating in the first three games of this series.
The Avs have outscored the Blues by a combined 15-5 margin through three games, and Colorado's 5.00 goals-per-game average leads the league so far.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from Game 3. They are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
20 Brandon Saad - 17 Tyson Jost - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
34 Carl Soderberg - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 18 Alex Newhook
7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves
24 Patrik Nemeth - 22 Conor Timmins
31 Philipp Grubauer
35 Jonas Johansson
Scratches: Bowen Byram, Dennis Gilbert, Nazem Kadri (suspended), Liam O'Brien, Jacob MacDonald, Jayson Megna, Dan Renouf, Kiefer Sherwood,
Injury Report: Matt Calvert (upper body), Devan Dubnyk (returning from COVID protocol), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Erik Johnson (upper body), Logan O'Connor (lower body)
The St. Louis Blues have a game-time decision on defense today as Jake Walman may play his first game of the series after missing the first three while in COVID protocol. Head coach Craig Berube said in his pregame availability that if Walman can play in the contest, Mitch Reinke is the likely scratch.
Defensemen Vince Dunn, Justin Faulk and Robert Bortuzzo will all be out for the contest. Dunn has been out since April 24 while Faulk and Bortuzzo skated in the first two contests of the Round 1 series but both missed Game 3 with upper-body injuries.
Below is the Blues' projected lineup for Game 4 based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from the start of Game 3.
49 Ivan Barbashev - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 25 Jordan Kyrou
17 Jaden Schwartz - 10 Brayden Schenn - 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
68 Mike Hoffman - 21 Tyler Bozak - 18 Robert Thomas
13 Kyle Clifford - 12 Zach Sanford - 9 Sammy Blais
6 Marco Scandella - 55 Colton Parayko
47 Torey Krug - 36 Steven Santini
77 Niko Mikkola and/or 39 Mitch Reinke and/or 46 Jake Walman
50 Jordan Binnington
35 Ville Husso