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Projected Lineup: Avalanche at Canucks

Kevin Connauton, Sheldon Dries recalled from Colorado Eagles

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--The Colorado Avalanche will look to extend its point streak and road winning streak tonight when it opens a three-game West Coast road trip at the Vancouver Canucks.

Prior to the trip, the Avs recalled forward Sheldon Dries and defenseman Kevin Connauton from the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles. Dries is expected to enter the lineup for Martin Kaut, who was reassigned to the Eagles in a corresponding move on Thursday.

Connauton, who has played one game with the Avalanche this season, has five goals and 22 assists in 38 outings with AHL Colorado this year. He has also played in 311 NHL contests in his career, recording 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists). With the Edmonton, Alberta, native entering the lineup, Nikita Zadorov will be a healthy scratch.

Dries has played in three games with the Avalanche this season and 43 in his career. He is third in scoring on the Eagles with 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) in 49 outings this year.  

Pavel Francouz was the first goaltender off the ice from morning skate and will start between the pipes this evening at Rogers Place. He has gone eight consecutive appearances without a regulation loss (6-0-2, 1.95 goals-against average, .934 save percentage). He leads the team and ranks among the NHL's top five in both save percentage (.927) and goals-against average (2.295) this season.

The Avs have points in nine straight games (7-0-2), matching their longest streak of the campaign (8-0-1, Nov. 27-Dec. 13). They have also won a franchise-record nine consecutive road games, tied for the longest streak in the NHL this year.

Colorado is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday but is a league-best 15-3-2 in its last 20 games and has collected points in 19 of its last 22 contests (15-3-4).

This trip, which also includes a back-to-back at the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and Monday, finishes a stretch that saw Colorado play eight-of-10 away from home.

Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on how the team began its previous game against the Ducks on Wednesday, with Dries taking the spot Kaut was in and Connauton slotted into the position Zadorov occupied. The forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.

Forwards

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 90 Vladislav Namestnikov
83 Matt Nieto - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 17 Tyson Jost - 15 Sheldon Dries
81 Vladislav Kamenev - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 25 Logan O'Connor

Defensemen

49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves
28 Ian Cole - 6 Erik Johnson
7 Kevin Connauton - 44 Mark Barberio

Goaltenders

39 Pavel Francouz
35 Michael Hutchinson

Healthy Scratch: Nikita Zadorov

Injury Report: Andre Burakovsky (upper body/lower body), Matt Calvert (lower body), Philipp Grubauer (lower body), Nazem Kadri (lower body), Cale Makar (upper body), Mikko Rantanen (upper body), Colin Wilson (lower body)

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