Colorado Avalanche forward Tyson Jost and defenseman Anton Lindholm will return to the lineup this evening as the club finishes its two-game Central Division road trip at the Nashville Predators.
Jost missed the last two contests with a bone bruise on his knee after crashing into the boards during the Avs' home opener last Wednesday against the Boston Bruins.
The injury could have been much worse, as Jost was chasing the puck into the corner when he was cross checked from behind by Boston's Adam McQuaid and lost an edge. He barreled into the wall feet first and needed assistance to get off the ice.
Jost was able to return to the game and scored an empty-net goal in the third period to help Colorado win 6-3 but was held out for the next two contests. He returned to practice on Monday in Nashville.
"I think we dodged a little bullet there with [Jost] only missing a couple games," Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told reporters on Monday.
Jost is expected to center the fourth line with Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau, a spot the rookie forward had played at the beginning of the season
Lindholm has been a healthy scratch for the past three games, but he'll take the spot on a defensive pairing with Tyson Barrie that was previously held by Patrik Nemeth. Nemeth is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury that he suffered Saturday at the Dallas Stars.
Blueliner Andrei Mironov and left wing Matt Nieto are the other scratches for the Avalanche this evening.
Tuesday's matchup in Nashville is Colorado's second of four-straight contests against division opponents. The team lost 3-1 in its first game on Saturday in Dallas and hosts the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and the Stars next Tuesday.
The Avalanche was not pleased with its performance against the Stars, as it couldn't generate anything offensively until the third period. Colorado was outshot 36-23, including by a 28-12 margin after the first 40 minutes.
"Responding after wins and doing the right thing is really important, but after a loss now is more important," Bednar said after Tuesday's morning skate. "It doesn't guarantee you the victory, but you know you're going to come out and give it your all and you're going to have your best stuff."
Colorado is looking to play more like it did last week when it rattled off three consecutive wins against teams that made the playoffs last year.
"We're extra motivated after our performance in Dallas," said forward Sven Andrighetto, who is tied with Matt Duchene for the Avs lead in scoring with six points (three goals and three assists). "I don't think anyone is satisfied with how we played. It's not the way we can play. That's the good thing about hockey, we already have the chance to redeem ourselves."
Tonight is a homecoming for Avalanche forward Colin Wilson, who will be playing his first contest in Nashville as a visitor after spending his first eight seasons in the league with the Predators organization.
A seventh-overall selection of Nashville in the 2008 entry draft, Wilson registered 237 points (95 goals and 142 assists) with the Preds while playing in 502 career games--the latter mark ranks sixth all-time in franchise history.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start in net for Colorado after making 33 saves against the Stars. He is presently top 10 in the league in wins (three), shutouts (one), goals-against average (1.76) and save percentage (.944).
PROJECTED LINE COMBINATIONS
Sven Andrighetto - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Alexander Kerfoot - Matt Duchene - Nail Yakupov
Gabriel Landeskog - J.T. Compher - Colin Wilson
Carl Soderberg - Tyson Jost - Blake Comeau
Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson
Anton Lindholm - Tyson Barrie
Mark Barberio - Chris Bigras