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Avalanche at Flames preview

Grubauer returns from injury, starts for Colorado; Calgary has been shut out past two games

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (12-6-2) at FLAMES (10-10-3)

9 p.m. ET; SN1, ALT, NHL.TV


The Game

Goalie Philipp Grubauer will return to the lineup when the Colorado Avalanche play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Grubauer, who is 6-3-2 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 11 starts, has missed the past five games because of a lower-body injury. Pavel Francouz, who has missed the past two games because of a head injury, is expected to back up Grubauer. 

Colorado went 4-1-0 in the five games Grubauer missed, following a five-game winless streak (0-4-1). 

Calgary has been outscored 15-3 during a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) and has not scored in the past 130:03 after being shut out in consecutive games. They will swap centers on the top two lines; Mikael Backlund will center Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm, and Sean Monahan will play between Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane.


Players to watch

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past five games and was named NHL second star for the week ending Nov. 17.

Flames goalie David Rittich is 9-5-3 with a 2.71 GAA and .914 save percentage. He is second in the NHL in saves with 489 and tied for the League lead with two shutouts.


They said it

"I don't think I've ever been on a team where we've had probably just over a quarter of our roster injured. It's just something that you can't be acting sad for yourself and sorry, like a pouting dog. You just have to go with it and try your best." -- Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar

"I think it's just going to take one to go in. We're getting chances, but this isn't a league about chances. You have to put the puck in the net. There are no excuses why we're not scoring. We've got to step it up and find ways to produce." -- Flames forward Sean Monahan


Avalanche projected lineup

Joonas Donskoi -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Andre Burakovsky 

Logan O'Connor -- Nazem Kadri -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Valeri Nichushkin

T.J. Tynan -- Vladislav Kamenev -- Jayson Megna

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: A.J. Greer, Mark Barberio, Antoine Bibeau

Injured: Tyson Jost (upper body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body), Matt Calvert (head)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Mikael Backlund -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Sean Monahan -- Andrew Mangiapane 

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Zac Rinaldo -- Mark Jankowski -- Michael Frolik

Mark Giordano -- Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin -- Michael Stone

Oliver Kylington -- Brandon Davidson

David Rittich

Cam Talbot

Scratched: None

Injured: Sam Bennett (upper body), Austin Czarnik (lower body), Travis Hamonic (lower body), TJ Brodie (medical episode)


Status report

Bellemare (illness) will be a game-time decision. ...O'Connor will make his season debut. …The Flames recalled Rinaldo and assigned forward Tobias Rieder to Stockton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Rinaldo and Davidson will be making their debuts with the Flames.


Stat pack

Makar has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past six games. …Kadri has six points (two goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. …Gaudreau has two goals in the past 18 games. …Monahan has three goals in the past 21 games.

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