The Colorado Avalanche takes on the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of the first-round series tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Avs lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will look to advance to Round 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Colorado is not expected to make any changes to its lineup, meaning forward Derick Brassard (illness) and defenseman Samuel Girard (upper body) could miss their third straight games.
Mikko Rantanen, who leads the Avalanche with six points (three goals, three assists) in the series, will start the game on the right side of Colin Wilson and Carl Soderberg, but head coach Jared Bednar said he will also play on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon throughout the contest.
"We will use [Rantanen] in both spots again, just like we have in the previous four games," Bednar said after Colorado's morning skate.
Goaltender Philipp Gruabuer will once again start in net for Colorado. He has been between the pipes in every game of the series so far, recording a 2.09 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.
Rookie defenseman Cale Makar will play his third game of the series--and third in the NHL--and his first in his hometown of Calgary.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the start of Game 4. All forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 13 Alexander Kerfoot
22 Colin Wilson - 34 Carl Soderberg - 96 Mikko Rantanen
83 Matt Nieto - 37 J.T. Compher - 11 Matt Calvert
57 Gabriel Bourque - 17 Tyson Jost - 10 Sven Andrighetto
28 Ian Cole - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 4 Tyson Barrie
12 Patrik Nemeth - 8 Cale Makar
31 Philipp Grubauer
1 Semyon Varlamov
Healthy Scratches: 27 Ryan Graves, 44 Mark Barberio
Injury Report: 18 Derick Brassard (illness), 49 Samuel Girard (upper body), 91 Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder)
Flames forward Austin Czarnik will enter Calgary's lineup tonight, making his 2019 playoff debut. He is expected to replace James Neal and be on a line with Michael Frolik and Mark Jankowski.
Calgary is also mixing up its top two forward combinations with Sam Bennett moving onto a trio with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm skating on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund.
Below is the Flames' projected lineup, courtesy of CalgaryFlames.com.
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Sam Bennett
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Elias Lindholm
Michael Frolik - Mark Jankowski - Austin Czarnik
Andrew Mangiapane - Derek Ryan - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Jusso Valimaki - Rasmus Andersson