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Panthers at Avalanche preview

Colorado without two-thirds of top line; Bobrovsky to start in goal for Florida

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

PANTHERS (5-3-4) at AVALANCHE (8-2-1)

10 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ALT, FS-F, NHL.TV

The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will be without first-line forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, who are sidelined with lower-body injuries, when they host the Florida Panthers at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Nazem Kadri and Joonas Donskoi will replace them on the first line with center Nathan MacKinnon. Landeskog was injured Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. Rantanen was injured Oct. 21 against the St. Louis Blues and will miss his third game.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start for the Panthers, who are 1-1-1 through the first three games of a four-game road trip and 4-1-4 in their past nine games. Florida's eight-game point streak (4-0-4) ended Monday with a 7-2 loss at the Vancouver Canucks.


Players to watch

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games and has at least one point in nine of Florida's 12 games this season.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) during a season-opening 11-game point streak. It's the fifth-longest such streak in Colorado/Quebec Nordiques history.


They said it

"I've only been here a week, but it's very evident that up and down the lineup there's a lot of ability. I think everybody wants to contribute and expects to." -- Panthers forward Brian Boyle, who signed a one-year contract Oct. 20.

"You're always hoping that you don't get to the point where you're losing a handful of top players. If you're going to have any type of sustained success in the regular season, you have to have depth and you have to have players who can sort of shift in and move around. We're confident that we can win with the lineup that we'll put on the ice." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Brian Boyle -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Denis Malgin -- Jayce Hawryluk

Dryden Hunt -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour

MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad

Riley Stillman -- Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle -- Mark Pysyk

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: Josh Brown

Injured: Mike Matheson (lower body), Vincent Trocheck (lower body)


Avalanche projected lineup

Nazem Kadri -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joonas Donskoi

Andre Burakovsky -- Tyson Jost -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Calvert

Valeri Nichushkin -- Vladislav Kamenev -- Jayson Megna

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Cale Makar

Nikita Zadorov -- Ryan Graves

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Mark Barberio

Injured: Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body)

Status report

Trocheck wore a non-contact jersey during the morning skate and will miss his fifth straight game. ... Megna will make his Avalanche debut after being recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League.


Stat pack

Boyle (two goals, one assist) and Hawryluk (one goal, two assists) each has three points in Florida's past two games. ... Makar, who turns 21 on Thursday, has four points (one goal, three assists) during a four-game point streak.

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