The Colorado Avalanche will make a few changes to is lineup this evening for its outing against the Los Angeles Kings at Ball Arena.
Defenseman Samuel Girard will be back in the lineup after being out for six games with a lower-body injury, and forward Nathan MacKinnon will miss the outing with a minor lower-body injury.
Girard, who turns 23 years old today, has played in 46 contests this year and has 31 points (five goals, 26 assists), setting a new career high with five goals. With his return to the lineup, Jacob MacDonald will be the scratched defenseman.
Nathan MacKinnon played in the Avs' 2-1 win at the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday after missing the team's previous two outings with a minor ailment, and the injury that is keeping him out of tonight's game is unrelated to the previous. He is day-to-day and expected to be back for the start of the playoffs.
The contest opens a back-to-back set against Los Angeles and marks the third time the clubs have faced off in six days. The Avs are a combined 14-1-3 in back-to-backs this year, with a 8-1-0 mark in the first game and a 6-0-3 record in the second. They have swept their last four back-to-backs, which is a franchise record.
Colorado could clinch the West Division and Presidents' Trophy as the best team in the regular season tonight if they defeat Los Angeles in any fashion and the San Jose Sharks defeat the Golden Knights in regulation.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from Saturday's game against the Kings, with Carl Soderberg and Girard inserted in. All forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 17 Tyson Jost - 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
95 Andre Burakovsky - 18 Alex Newhook - 37 J.T. Compher
34 Carl Soderberg - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 44 Kiefer Sherwood
7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 22 Conor Timmins
49 Samuel Girard - 24 Patrik Nemeth
31 Philipp Grubauer
35 Jonas Johansson
Scratches: Liam O'Brien, Jacob MacDonald, Jayson Megna
Taxi Squad: Kyle Burroughs, Dennis Gilbert, Hunter Miska, Sampo Ranta, Dan Renouf, T.J. Tynan
Injury Report: Bowen Byram (upper body), Matt Calvert (upper body), Devan Dubnyk (COVID protocol), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Erik Johnson (upper body), Nathan MacKinnon (lower body), Logan O'Connor (lower body), Brandon Saad (lower body)