PHILADELPHIA--The Colorado Avalanche returns from its 11-day break tonight as the club opens a five-game road trip at the Philadelphia Flyers.
This evening's contest is the Avs first since Jan. 20 and first on the road since Jan. 7. The club had nine full days off before returning to practice on Thursday. Before the break, Colorado won three straight games and earned a point in five consecutive contests (3-0-2).
Philipp Grubauer was the first Avs goaltender off the ice at today's morning skate at the University of Pennsylvania and is expected to be in net. So far this year, the netminder is 14-10-4 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
Joonas Donskoi will make his return to the lineup after missing the last five games with a head injury. The right wing last played at the New York Rangers on Jan. 7 and will begin the game on a line with Tyson Jost and Matt Nieto.
The rest of the forward trios will be the same as they were in Colorado's previous outing on Jan. 20 against the Detroit Red Wings. Nathan MacKinnon will center Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, while Andre Burakovksy, Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin will form another threesome. The final line will consist of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Matt Calvert and J.T. Compher.
It is the second and final meeting between the Avs and Flyers this season. Colorado won 3-1 in the first matchup on Dec. 11 in Denver behind two goals from Rantanen and 32 saves from goaltender Pavel Francouz.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from Friday's practice. They are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
11 Matt Calvert - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 72 Joonas Donskoi
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz
Healthy Scratch: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev
Injury Report: Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)