The Colorado Avalanche looks to force its second-round playoff series to go the distance as the team takes on the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 this evening at T-Mobile Arena.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer is expected to be in the Colorado net once again versus Vegas, which leads 3-2 in the best-of-seven set. If necessary, Game 7 is slated for Saturday back in Denver.
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was not at the arena earlier today for morning skate due to an irregularity in his COVID-19 test results, but the players said after practice that they expect him to be on the bench come game time.
Colorado's exact lineup won't be known until closer to puck drop, but it could be similar to the one used by the club on Tuesday in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 5 to the Golden Knights. In that outing, forwards Alex Newhook and Logan O'Connor reentered the lineup while the team made changes to all of its forward combinations.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the start of Game 5. The forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
20 Brandon Saad - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 37 J.T. Compher - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
95 Andre Burakovsky - 17 Tyson Jost - 25 Logan O'Connor
18 Alex Newhook - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 72 Joonas Donskoi
7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves
24 Patrik Nemeth - 22 Conor Timmins
31 Philipp Grubauer
40 Devan Dubnyk
Scratches: Bowen Byram, Jonas Johansson, Nazem Kadri (suspended), Jacob MacDonald, Sampo Ranta, Kiefer Sherwood, Carl Soderberg
Injury Report: Matt Calvert (upper body), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Erik Johnson (upper body)
Vegas' Mattias Janmark returned to action for Game 5 on Tuesday after missing the previous three contests with an injury. He started on a line with Nicolas Roy and Alex Tuch.
Defenseman Nick Holden also suited up after being previously scratched, skating on a pairing with Zach Whitecloud.
Forward Ryan Reaves was scratched for Game 5 as he was replaced on the fourth combination by Keegan Kolesar, who joined the trio that included Patrick Brown and William Carrier.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to be between the pipes after posting wins in three straight contests.
Below is the Golden Knights' projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from Game 5. It is subject to change.
67 Max Pacioretty - 20 Chandler Stephenson - 61 Mark Stone
81 Jonathan Marchessault - 71 William Karlsson - 19 Reilly Smith
26 Mattias Janmark - 10 Nicolas Roy - 89 Alex Tuch
28 William Carrier - 38 Patrick Brown - 55 Keegan Kolesar
23 Alec Martinez - 7 Alex Pietrangelo
3 Brayden McNabb - 27 Shea Theodore
22 Nick Holden - 2 Zach Whitecloud
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
90 Robin Lehner