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Avalanche at Flyers preview

Colorado goes for fourth straight win; Lyon expected to start for Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

AVALANCHE (28-15-6) at FLYERS (27-17-7)



The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will try for their fourth straight win when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

The Avalanche, who are playing their first game following the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game and their League mandated five-day break, have outscored teams 15-6 in their past three games, including a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings in their most recent game Jan. 20.

Goalie Alex Lyon will start for the Flyers after Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 20 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. It was the Flyers' first game following their break.


Players to watch

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has four points (two goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. He has 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists), tied for the most in a season by an Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques rookie defenseman.

Flyers forward Claude Giroux needs three points for 800 in the NHL. He has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 15 games against the Avalanche, including a goal in a 3-1 loss at Colorado on Dec. 11.


They said it

"[The Flyers] have got a game under their belt. It is a back to back, but we haven't played yet so not sure if there's a clear advantage there. I think just going out for us, keeping it simple early, making sure we get to our game, getting our legs under us and trying to use our speed to our advantage will be key." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"I liked our 5-on-5 game tonight. Thought we got better in our execution, got better as the game went on both defensively and offensively. ... We got a point tonight. Let's go back home and we're going to meet one of the best teams in the League, so we'll have to be like we were tonight in the third period." -- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault after a 4-3 overtime loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Joonas Donskoi

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Vladislav Kamenev, Mark Barberio

Injured: Colin Wilson (lower body)


Flyers projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Claude Giroux -- Travis Konecny

Michael Raffl -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Scott Laughton -- Kevin Hayes -- Joel Farabee

Tyler Pitlick -- Connor Bunnaman -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov -- Matt Niskanen

Travis Sanheim -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Justin Braun

Alex Lyon

Brian Elliott

Scratched: None

Injured: Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder), Shayne Gostisbehere (knee), Carter Hart (abdominal strain)


Status report

Donskoi will replace Kamenev on the fourth line. It will be Donskoi's first game since sustaining a concussion against the New York Rangers on Jan. 7. ... The Flyers did not hold a morning skate. Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Lyon in goal for Elliott would be the only lineup change. ... Gostisbehere skated Saturday and Vigneault said the defenseman could play against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. He has been out since having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Jan. 14. ... Hart skated Saturday but the goalie is not expected to play for at least another week.

Stat pack

MacKinnon has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. … Couturier has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past 11 games. … Makar is tied with Bruce Bell, who had 37 points (six goals, 31 assists) as a rookie defenseman for the Nordiques in 1984-85.

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