AVALANCHE (39-36-4) at PREDATORS (39-26-14)
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ALT, FS-TN, NHL.TV
NASHVILLE -- The Colorado Avalanche will be eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention with a regulation loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.
A win by the Minnesota Wild against the San Jose Sharks, or overtime losses by the Wild and Avalanche, will also eliminate Colorado.
"We're fighting for our lives," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said. "We've got to win the next three, and we've got to hope [Minnesota] loses the next two. That's the mindset going forward here."
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy had strong words about Duchene's goal celebration in a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Duchene said he and Roy have talked since then and that the two have no issue.
"We talked, we had a good chat [Monday]," Duchene said. "It's one of those things that I totally understand where he's coming from and what he's trying to do. I'm on board with it, and I think we all are. It's one of those things that right away, I knew that was not the right thing. It wasn't the right reaction. I kind of buried my head after that, even going back to the bench because I understood it just wasn't the right thing. We had a good talk, and it's all good."
Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could return to the lineup. Ellis has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury after taking a puck to the side of the head in a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on March 29.
"It's up to the coaches at this point," Ellis said. "I feel good. Like I said before, no one is going to be 100 percent in here. It's the way things are as you head down the stretch and into the [playoffs], and that's part of the game and part of why you have a bunch of teammates to pick you up at that point."
Here are the projected lineups:
Shawn Matthias - Matt Duchene - Mikkel Boedker
Gabriel Landeskog - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau
Mikhail Grigorenko - John Mitchell - Jarome Iginla
Cody McLeod - Andrew Agozzino - Jack Skille
Francois Beauchemin - Tyson Barrie
Nick Holden - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Zach Redmond
Scratched: Andrew Bodnarchuk, Andreas Martinsen, Chris Bigras
Injured: Nathan MacKinnon (knee), Brad Stuart (back), Ben Street (chest), Jesse Winchester (concussion), Eric Gelinas (elbow)
Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal
Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith
Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Viktor Arvidsson
Cody Bass - Paul Gaustad - Colton Sissons
Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm - Petter Granberg
Barret Jackman - Ryan Ellis
Scratched: Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson
Injured: Anthony Bitetto (lower body), Miikka Salomaki (undisclosed), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)
Status report: Varlamov will start for the Avalanche. … Zadorov will replace Bigras on defense. … The Predators held an optional morning skate. … Rinne is expected to start for the Predators . … Defenseman Stefan Elliott was reassigned to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.
Who's hot: Landeskog has two goals and one assist in his past four games. … Neal has eight goals and six assists in his past 10 games.