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Projected Lineup: Avalanche at Islanders

Pavel Francouz starts first half of back-to-back

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

UNIONDALE, N.Y.--Valeri Nichushkin returns to the Colorado Avalanche lineup this evening as the club continues its road trip at NYCB Live/Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders.

Nichushkin did not play in Colorado's 5-2 win at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday after falling ill before the game. It was the first contest that he did not play in since Oct. 21 at the St. Louis Blues.

Head coach Jared Bednar said after today's morning skate that Vladislav Kamenev will be scratched for the game against the Islanders, and goaltender Pavel Francouz will start the first half of the back-to-back set for Colorado. The Avs wrap up their three-game trip on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.

Bednar did not give forward combinations or defensive pairings for tonight's game after mixing up the lines during the contest in Jersey. Mikko Rantanen finished the night on a trio with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog after originally playing with J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto.

The top line for the below combinations is based on how the Avs ended their contest versus the Devils, while Nichushkin is placed where he skated in his previous game played on Thursday against the Blues. They will likely be different.

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 11 Matt Calvert
83 Matt Nieto - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
17 Tyson Jost - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 95 Andre Burakovsky

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

39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer

Scratches: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev

Injury Report: Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)

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