WASHINGTON--Ian Cole will make his season debut today when the Colorado Avalanche takes on the Washington Capitals at 3 p.m. MT at Capital One Arena.
Cole missed the first four games of the season while recovering from offseason surgery on both of his hips, but he's been a full participant in the club's practices for a week now. Head coach Jared Bednar said that the defenseman will be paired with Ryan Graves on the backend, replacing Mark Barberio, who will be scratched.
To make room for Cole on the active roster, the Avalanche has placed forward J.T. Compher (lower body) on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 5.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer will get the start in net for Colorado after Pavel Francouz guarded the pipes on Saturday in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Arizona Coyotes. Grubauer started each of the Avs' first three games of the season and sports a 3-0-0 record, 2.33 goals-against average and .931 save percentage entering Monday.
Grubauer was drafted by the Capitals in 2010 (No. 112 overall) and was a member of the squad's 2018 Stanley Cup championship team. He will be facing his former squad for the second time and his first in Washington since being acquired by Colorado in summer 2018. The German keeper made 26-of-29 saves for the Avalanche in an overtime loss to the Capitals in Denver on Nov. 16.
Andre Burakovsky will also make his first trip back to D.C. after the Avs traded for the Swedish forward on June 28. Also a member of the Caps' championship club from two seasons ago, Burakovsky recorded 145 points (62 goals, 83 assists) in 328 career games with Washington after being picked in the first round of the 2013 draft at 23rd overall. He has scored the game-winning goal in each of the Avs' past two outings.
The outing in Washington is the start of a six-game road trip, Colorado's longest of the season. The Avs will also play at the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights before returning home to host the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 26.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup for today's contest. The forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
72 Joonas Donskoi - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 22 Colin Wilson
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 28 Ian Cole
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz
Healthy Scratches: Mark Barberio, Kevin Connauton, Vladislav Kamenev
Injury Report: J.T. Compher (lower body)