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game preview

Avalanche at Lightning preview

Francouz expected to start for Colorado; Tampa Bay returns home after six-game road trip

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (6-0-1) at LIGHTNING (4-2-1)

7 p.m. ET; SUN, ALT, NHL.TV


The Game 

The Colorado Avalanche will look to extend their point streak to eight games when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday. 

Colorado is the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. The Avalanche will play the second of back-to-back games after a 5-4 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Friday. 

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have opened the season on seven-game point streaks, and each Avalanche forward has four goals and six assists for 10 points.

Tampa Bay has won two straight and is back home after going 3-2-1 on a six-game road trip. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for the Lightning; Pavel Francouz is expected to make his second start of the season for the Avalanche.


Players to Watch

Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past five games, including three points (two goals, one assist) against the Panthers on Friday. 

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games. 


They said it

"We did some good things for portions of the game, but we have to clean up the rest of our game. Right now, we're playing with fire with some of the turnovers." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar after the win against the Panthers on Friday

"The trend is we've played up to our opponent so far. When we've played some good teams, we've had some great responses so let's have that consistently every night. We're playing another really good team tonight, so I expect our guys to be ready." -- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Joonas Donskoi -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Colin Wilson

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

Erik Johnson -- Samuel Girard

Cale Makar -- Nikita Zadorov

Ian Cole -- Ryan Graves

Pavel Francouz

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin

Injured: None


Lightning projected lineup

Steven Stamkos -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Tyler Johnson -- Yanni Gourde

Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Carter Verhaeghe -- Luke Witkowski

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn -- Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Jan Rutta

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body)


Status report

Paquette was on the ice in a regular jersey during the morning skate but did not take part in line rushes and isn't expected to play. … The Avalanche had an optional skate.


Stat pack

Kucherov has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past four games. … Point has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. … Kadri has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games. … MacKinnon has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 12 games against the Lightning.

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