TAMPA, Fla.--Pavel Francouz will make his second career NHL start this evening as the Colorado Avalanche completes a back-to-back set at the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Avalanche is coming off a 5-4 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers on Friday to improve to 6-0-1 on the season. Philipp Grubauer made a season-high 40 saves, Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi both had three-point performances and Nathan MacKinnon scored the game-winner in OT.
Francouz has played in three career NHL games, with his first two coming in relief appearances last season. He made 34-of-36 saves to earn his first win in his first NHL start on Oct. 12 against the Arizona Coyotes, becoming the fourth Avalanche goalie to pick up a victory in his first-ever start (since 1995-96).
The win also made Francouz (29) the second goaltender in franchise history to record his first victory at the age of 29 or older, joining the Quebec Nordiques' Sergei Mylnikov (31 years old, March 17, 1990).
Colorado had an optional morning skate today at Amalie Arena, and head coach Jared Bednar said he might make one more change to his lineup this evening.
"I'm still tossing around an idea or two, so I'm not really sure yet," Bednar said.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup, with the forward combinations and defensive pairings based on how they were at the start of Friday's game at Florida. They are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
22 Colin Wilson - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 28 Ian Cole
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer
Scratches: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin