The Colorado Avalanche continues its five-game homestand with a matinee matchup against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center.
It is the first of two straight afternoon contests for the Avs and the first of four overall at home this year. The Avalanche is 2-0-0 in day games this season after winning 6-1 at the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 25 and beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Nov. 29.
Colorado is 1-0-2 so far on this homestay, falling in overtime to both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars before beating the San Jose Sharks 4-0 on Thursday. The Avalanche will conclude the homestand on Monday in another afternoon contest against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Avs are expected to use the same lineup against the Blues as they did against the Sharks, with goaltender Philipp Grubauer likely to make his third consecutive start in net.
There had been hope that forward Joonas Donskoi could return against St. Louis but, head coach Jared Bednar noted after practice on Friday that is now unlikely. Donskoi has been out in concussion protocol since taking a high hit on Jan. 7 at the New York Rangers, but Friday's practice did mark the fifth day in a row that he skated in a red, non-contact jersey.
Due to the 1 p.m. MT start time, the Avalanche did not hold a morning skate and its exact lineup won't be known until closer to puck drop.
Below is Colorado's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from the start of Thursday's outing. They 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 - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 81 Vladislav Kamenev
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz
Healthy Scratch: Mark Barberio
Injury Report: Joonas Donskoi (concussion protocol), Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)