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Projected Lineup: Avalanche vs. Blackhawks

Philipp Grubauer to start in net

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Philipp Grubauer will be in the crease this evening when the Colorado Avalanche hosts the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center.

It is the fourth and final meeting of the year between the Avs and Hawks. Colorado has won each of the first three matchups, outscoring Chicago 16-6 in those contests. The clubs met most recently on Wednesday, and the Avalanche skated to a 4-1 victory at United Center.

"We are going to juggle around our forwards a little bit, get [Andre] Burakovsky back with [Nazem] Kadri and [Joonas] Donskoi," said head coach Jared Bednar. "As of right now that's it. Grubauer is going to go back in net. We are going to juggle our D up a little bit too, just depending on what we see out of their lines."

Bednar also noted that defenseman Nikita Zadorov could play with Samuel Girard or Erik Johnson, depending on what Colorado's coaching staff sees out of Chicago's lines for the game.

Rookie blueliner Cale Makar will miss his seventh game with an upper-body injury that he sustained at the Boston Bruins on Dec. 7, but he did participate in Colorado's morning skate in a red, non-contact jersey.

Bednar noted that there is a possibility that Makar returns to game action on Monday when the Avs visit the Vegas Golden Knights in their final game before the NHL Holiday Break.

"Skating, shooting now, feeling pretty good, taking some contact out there right now after practice. So, obviously not a player for tonight and then we will reevaluate and see what he feels like for Vegas," Bednar said of Makar. "If he is unable to play, it will be close. And then hopefully at least playing as soon as we come out of the break, gives him an extra four days there."

Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup with the defense based on the start of Colorado's last game on Thursday versus the Carolina Hurricanes. All forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.

Forwards

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

Defensemen

27 Ryan Graves - 49 Samuel Girard
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole
54 Anton Lindholm - 6 Erik Johnson

Goaltenders

31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

Healthy Scratches: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev
Injury Report: Cale Makar (upper body), Colin Wilson (lower body)

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