CALGARY, Alberta--The Colorado Avalanche opens its first-round series with the Calgary Flames in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer will be between the pipes for the Avs after he backstopped Colorado into the postseason by posting a 7-0-2 record in his final nine starts with a 1.63 goals-against average and .953 save percentage.
Right wing Mikko Rantanen will be back in the lineup after he missed the final eight games of the regular season with an upper-body injury. Rantanen finished the year as Colorado's second-leading scorer with 87 points (31 goals, 56 assists) in 74 contests.
Bednar did say that the Finnish forward will not start the game on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon as he did for much of the season, but didn't confirm who Rantanen will play with. Before getting hurt, Rantanen was on a trio with Colin Wilson and Carl Soderberg.
Bednar also noted that the healthy scratches will be forward Sven Andrighetto, defensemen Mark Barberio and Ryan Graves, and goaltender Joe Cannata.
Below is the Avalanche's projected lineup. All forward combinations and defensive pairings are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon 13 Alexander Kerfoot
22 Colin Wilson - 34 Carl Soderberg 96 Mikko Rantanen
83 Matt Nieto - 18 Derick Brassard 11 Matt Calvert
57 Gabriel Bourque - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 4 Tyson Barrie
28 Ian Cole - 12 Patrik Nemeth
31 Philipp Grubauer
1 Semyon Varlamov
Healthy Scratches: 10 Sven Andrighetto, 27 Ryan Graves, 35 Joe Cannata, 44 Mark Barberio
Injury Report: 91 Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder)
After the Flames morning skate, Calgary head coach Bill Peters confirmed that veteran goaltender Mike Smith will be between the pipes for the home team.
Smith had a 1.94 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in his final 11 starts of the 2018-19 regular season. The 37-year-old netminder has appeared in 19 career playoff contests and has posted a 10-8 record, 1.88 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in those outings.
Below is the Flames projected lineup, according to CalgaryFlames.com.
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennet - Mark Jankowski - James Neal
Andrew Mangiapane - Derek Ryan - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Oscar Fantenberg - Rasmus Andersson