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Projected Lineup: Avalanche at Oilers

Adam Werner starts, Kevin Connauton makes season debut

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

EDMONTON, Alberta--Goaltender Adam Werner will make his first NHL start this evening when the Colorado Avalanche continues its Western Canada swing at Rogers Place versus the Edmonton Oilers.

Werner made his debut in the league on Tuesday at the Winnipeg Jets, entering the game 31 seconds after starter Pavel Francouz left with a head injury. Werner went on to stop all 40 shots he faced in the 4-0 victory to become the franchise's first netminder to win in his NHL debut when coming in relief.

Antoine Bibeau, who the Avalanche called up from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, is expected to be the backup with Francouz out and Philipp Grubauer still recovering from a lower-body injury. Grubauer is making progress with him taking part in the full team practice session for the third straight day.

There will also be a change on the Avs' defense as Kevin Connauton will make his season debut, replacing Mark Barberio. Connuaton was recalled from the Eagles on Tuesday afternoon and has played in 310 career NHL contests.

Head coach Jared Bednar said after morning skate that forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is a game-time decision after suffering a concussion in Saturday outing versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bellemare skated today in a regular practice jersey for the first time since the injury.

Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup against the Oilers. All forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.

Forwards
11 Matt Calvert - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 95 Andre Burakovsky
12 Jayson Megna - 81 Vladislav Kamenev - 36 T.J. Tynan

Defensemen
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
28 Ian Cole - 7 Kevin Connauton

Goaltenders
30 Adam Werner (starter)
35 Antoine Bibeau (backup)

Healthy Scratch: Mark Barberio

Injuries Report: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (concussion protocol)*, Pavel Francouz (concussion protocol), Philipp Grubauer (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body), Nikita Zadorov (broken jaw)

* - game-time decision

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