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Avalanche at Predators preview

Barrie back in Colorado lineup; Girard to play against Nashville for first time since Nov. 5 trade

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

AVALANCHE (9-7-1) at PREDATORS (10-6-2)

8 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie will return to the lineup when the Avalanche visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday. Barrie missed one game with an upper-body injury.

Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard will face his former team for the first time since he was traded to the Avalanche by the Predators on Nov. 5. Nashville acquired center Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators in the same deal that sent Girard to Colorado.

The Avalanche are 1-2-1 in their past four games; forward Gabriel Landeskog had his first NHL hat trick in a 6-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. 

The Predators are 5-1-0 in their past six games and are 5-1-1 at home this season. They have won seven consecutive games against Colorado.

 

Players to watch

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past seven games, including five points (one goal, four assists) against the Capitals. 

Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past two games. Forward Filip Forsberg has five points (one goal, four assists) in a three-game point streak.

 

They said it

"That's what we want when we're hockey players. We want to play. We want to be on the ice. We want to help the team to win, so I'm pretty happy to have a lot of ice time here and to help the team to win." -- Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard

"Just play a complete game. We've had some really strong periods where we feel we're at the top of our games and have little letdowns after that. We just don't want to put it in cruise control at all. We want to play hard the entire night, and I think we'll like the result if we do that." -- Predators forward Colton Sissons

 
Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Colin Wilson -- Alexander Kerfoot -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Sven Andrighetto -- Dominic Toninato -- Nail Yakupov

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Andrei Mironov -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Mark Barberio

Semyon Varlamov

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Gabriel Bourque, Chris Bigras

Injured: Anton Lindholm (broken jaw), Patrik Nemeth (lower body), Tyson Jost (lower body), Vladislav Kamenev (broken arm)

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Kyle Turris -- Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki -- Calle Jarnkrok -- Colton Sissons

Cody McLeod -- Nick Bonino -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Mattias Ekholm

Alexei Emelin -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Anthony Bitetto

Pekka Rinne

Anders Lindback

Scratched: None

Injured: Scott Hartnell (lower body), Yannick Weber (lower body), Ryan Ellis (knee)

 

Status report

Toninato will replace Kamenev on the fourth line between Andrighetto and Yakupov. … The Predators held an optional morning skate.

 

Stat pack

MacKinnon has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 17 games against the Predators. Kerfoot has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games. … Johansen scored his first goal of the season in a 6-4 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

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