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Projected Lineup: Avalanche at Golden Knights

Colorado begins back-to-back set at Vegas

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche wraps up its season-long, six-game road trip this afternoon at T-Mobile Arena against the Vegas Golden Knights. The matchup is the first half of a back-to-back set for Colorado, which hosts the Anaheim Ducks in Denver on Saturday.

Today's game begins at 4 p.m. MT as part of the Golden Knights' celebration for Nevada Day, a state holiday.

Due to the earlier start time, the Avalanche did not hold a morning skate so its exact lineup won't be known until closer to puck drop.

However, Colorado head coach Jared Bednar did make some changes to his combinations at Thursday's practice with Mikko Rantanen week-to-week with a lower-body injury. J.T. Compher took Rantanen's spot on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, while Valeri Nichushkin was inserted into Compher's old position on a unit with Tyson Jost and Colin Wilson.

Bednar also mixed up his defensive pairings a bit, moving Cale Makar onto a duo with Ian Cole and placing Nikita Zadorov on a tandem with Ryan Graves.

Philipp Grubauer will get the start today in goal for the Avalanche, while backup Pavel Francouz is likely to guard the pipes in Saturday's contest versus the Ducks.

Below is Colorado's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings at Thursday's practice. They are subject to change.

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 37 J.T. Compher
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
22 Colin Wilson - 17 Tyson Jost - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert

49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
28 Ian Cole - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 16 Nikita Zadorov

31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

Healthy Scratches: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev

Injured: Mikko Rantanen (lower body)

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