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Projected Lineup: Avalanche vs. Penguins

Pavel Francouz starting first game of homestand

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche begins a five-game homestand this evening at Pepsi Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It is the second and final meeting of the year between the two clubs, which saw the Penguins win 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 16 at PPG Paints Arena.

Avs goaltender Pavel Francouz will start in net tonight, playing in only his second game over the past two weeks. He made 32 saves in a 1-0 loss at the New York Islanders in his last outing on Monday.

"We feel like he gives us a good option to win a hockey game," head coach Jared Bednar said of Francouz, who owns an 11-4-1 record, 2.32 goals-against average and .929 save percentage this season. "He hasn't played in a little bit. He's played good when he's been in."

Bednar did not give any other lineup updates following his media availability this morning, so Colorado's exact starting alignment won't be known until closer to game time.

Below is the Avalanche projected lineup versus the Penguins based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from Thursday's practice. They are subject to change.

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher - 81 Vladislav Kamenev

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 Scratch: Mark Barberio

Injury Report: Joonas Donskoi (concussion protocol), Colin Wilson (lower body, out indefinitely)

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