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game preview

Avalanche at Panthers preview

MacKinnon game-time decision for Colorado; Dadonov looks to extend goal streak for Florida

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (5-0-1) at PANTHERS (2-2-2)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, ALT, NHL.TV

The Game

Nathan MacKinnon will be a game-time decision for the Colorado Avalanche against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.

MacKinnon, who sustained a leg injury during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, did not take part in the morning skate.

Colorado will be looking to extend its season-opening point streak to seven games. The Avalanche won their first five games before losing against the Penguins. Colorado is the only team without a regulation loss.

The Panthers are home after going 1-0-2 on a three-game road trip. They ended a three-game losing streak when they rallied from down 4-1 for a 6-4 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Monday.

Players to watch

Avalanche rookie defenseman Cale Makar has six assists in six games. He had a chance to become the second NHL defenseman to begin his regular-season career with a six-game point streak but was held without a point against the Penguins.

Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov has a four-game goal streak and seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past four games.

They said it

"His leg is pretty sore. He got hit there the other night by (Penguins forward Patric) Hornqvist. I give him a lot of credit. I know he was hurting on the bench the whole game and he battled through and ends up getting us a big goal in the third period, has a really good third period for us." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on forward Nathan MacKinnon

"Finding that consistency and having the puck a little bit more from start to finish, we'd like to find out how good we could be." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Joonas Donskoi -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Colin Wilson -- Tyson Jost -- J.T. Compher

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Nieto

Erik Johnson -- Samuel Girard

Cale Makar -- Ian Cole

Ryan Graves -- Nikita Zadorov

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Vladislav Kamenev, Mark Barberio, Valeri Nichushkin

Injured: None

Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Henrik Borgstrom -- Denis Malgin

Dryden Hunt -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour

Mike Matheson -- Aaron Ekblad

MacKenzie Weegar -- Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: Jayce Hawryluk, Mark Pysyk

Injured: None

Status report

Bednar said Kadri would center the top line if MacKinnon doesn't play and Compher would move up to the second line. … Zadorov will be back in the lineup after being scratched against the Penguins. … Quenneville said there could be lineup changes but did not specify.

Stat pack

Colorado's 42 hits against Pittsburgh were the most the Avalanche have had in a game since they had 42 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 11, 2016. … Huberdeau has six points (one goal, five assists) during a five-game point streak. … Florida leads the NHL with 38.2 shots per game.

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