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Avalanche at Flyers preview

Gostisbehere could return for Philadelphia; Grimaldi. Nieto out for Colorado

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

AVALANCHE (7-5-0) at FLYERS (7-6-1)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, ALT2, NHL.TV


The Game

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said he will be a game-time decision for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Colorado Avalanche at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Gostisbehere has missed the past three games because of an upper-body injury sustained against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 28. Despite the time out of the lineup, he is tied with Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues for first among NHL defensemen with 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in 11 games.

Avalanche forwards Rocco Grimaldi and Matt Nieto won't play because of illness. Coach Jared Bednar said the lineup will have 11 forwards and seven defensemen.


Players to watch

Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past nine games.

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov has averaged at least 27 minutes of ice time the past four games. He tied a Flyers record against the Blues on Thursday with 10 blocked shots.


They said it

"With seven [defensemen] it's going to be a little bit of a blender back there tonight. But we'll start [Mark] Barberio playing with [Erik] Johnson a little bit. We have some analytics that say the time they've spent together has been pretty good. They played well together last year, so we're going to work that out as much as we can." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"I feel good. I feel like I'm ready to go. We'll see tonight." -- Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Nail Yakupov -- Matt Duchene -- Sven Andrighetto

Gabriel Bourque -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

A.J. Greer -- Alexander Kerfoot

Mark Barberio -- Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Anton Lindholm

Andrei Mironov

Semyon Varlamov

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Chris Bigras

Injured: Rocco Grimaldi (illness), Matt Nieto (illness), J.T. Compher (hand), Tyson Jost (lower body), Colin Wilson (hip)


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Travis Konecny -- Valtteri Filppula -- Wayne Simmonds

Jordan Weal -- Jori Lehtera -- Dale Weise

Taylor Leier -- Scott Laughton -- Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov -- Robert Hagg

Brandon Manning -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Travis Sanheim -- Mark Alt

Michal Neuvirth

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Matt Read, Will O'Neill

Injured: Andrew MacDonald (lower body), Nolan Patrick (upper body), Radko Gudas (upper body)


Status report

With Nieto and Grimaldi out, Bourque will play after missing the two previous games because of an upper-body injury. … Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said there will be seven defensemen on the ice for warmups but he'll have six in the lineup. Patrick took part in some of the morning skate wearing a yellow no-contact jersey.


Stat pack

MacKinnon has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past two games. Rantanen has three goals in the past two games. … Giroux has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

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