Jonas Johansson is set to be between the pipes for the Colorado Avalanche this evening when it takes on the Los Angeles Kings in the season finale at Ball Arena.
A victory of any kind and the Avalanche would win the West Division and Presidents' Trophy. The Avs are looking for their 10th division title since moving to Denver (12th in franchise history) and their third Presidents' Trophy (1996-97, 2000-01).
The team's met on Wednesday night and J.T. Compher tallied his first career hat trick to lead Colorado to a 6-0 victory over the Kings. It extended the Avs home win streak to eight, setting a new season high that is tied for the fourth longest such streak in franchise history.
The Avalanche is 15-0-1 in its last 16 at Ball Arena, one shy of the franchise record for the longest home point streak set in 2002-03.
Philipp Grubauer made all 18 saves for his seventh shutout and 30th victory of the season last night. This evening, he will backup Johansson, who has played in seven games with the Avalanche this year. Johansson is 4-1-1 with Colorado, including a 2.23 goals-against average and .907 save percentage and a shutout.
Tonight's matchup also finishes Colorado's 10th and final back-to-back set of the year. The Avalanche is a combined 15-1-3 in back-to-backs with a 9-1-0 mark in the first game and a 6-0-3 record in the second. The Avs are looking for their fifth consecutive back-to-back sweep, which would extend their franchise record.
Nathan MacKinnon didn't play in Wednesday's contest due to a lower-body injury, and Bednar said postgame that the forward won't suit up for Thursday's outing either. However, MacKinnon should be ready to go when the Avs open the postseason.
MacKinnon missed both contests of a consecutive-night set at Los Angeles last Friday and Saturday with a lower-body ailment before returning for Monday's outing at the Golden Knights and his current injury is unrelated to that one. He leads the Avs in scoring this year with 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists).
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from the start of Wednesday's contest. They are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 17 Tyson Jost - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 18 Alex Newhook - 37 J.T. Compher
44 Kiefer Sherwood - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 12 Jayson Megna
7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves
24 Patrik Nemeth - 22 Conor Timmins
35 Jonas Johansson
31 Philipp Grubauer
Scratches: Liam O'Brien, Jacob MacDonald, Carl Soderberg (maintenance)
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)