ST. PAUL, Minn.--The Colorado Avalanche visits the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy center tonight to conclude a five-game road trip and its ninth back-to-back set of the year.
The Avs are 3-1-0 so far on this road swing, opening it with a loss at the Philadelphia Flyers before earning wins against the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. Colorado is 6-1-0 in their last seven games and 3-4-1 when playing the second contest in a back-to-back this year.
The Avalanche defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1 last night after receiving goals from Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon, as well as a 31-save performance from Philipp Grubauer.
Pavel Francouz is expected to be between the pipes for Colorado tonight. The Czech goaltender is 12-4-2 this season and last made 22 saves in his last game on Jan. 20, a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
This evening's matchup marks the fourth time this campaign that the Avs and Wild have met and the second time in St. Paul. Colorado is 1-2-0 in the season series after earning a 4-2 win on Oct. 5 and falling 3-2 on Nov. 21 and 6-4 on Dec. 27.
The Avalanche did not hold a morning skate today so its exact lineup likely won't be known until just prior to puck drop. Game time is 5:30 p.m. MT and it will be nationally televised on NBCSN.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on how the team began its previous game at Columbus on Saturday. The forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
11 Matt Calvert - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
17 Tyson Jost - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 83 Matt Nieto
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer
Healthy Scratches: Vladislav Kamenev, Calle Rosen
Injury Report: Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)