The Colorado Avalanche takes on the Los Angeles Kings tonight at Staples Center in the second half of a back-to-back set and the final meeting of the season in Southern California.
The Avs won 3-2 on Friday night, improving to 4-1-0 in the eight-game series. The clubs wrap up the campaign against one another with a season-finale set in Denver on Wednesday and Thursday.
Goaltender Jonas Johansson is expected to start this evening after Philip Grubauer guarded the pipes on Friday. Johansson last played on April 26 at St. Louis and owns a 3-1-1 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in five starts since being acquired in a trade with Buffalo on March 20.
Nathan MacKinnon did not play on Friday due to a minor lower-body injury and his status for this game probably won’t be known until closer to puck drop. Head coach Jared Bednar has said he doesn’t want to rush players that are a bit banged up, including MacKinnon, with the playoffs likely beginning in roughly a week’s time.
Tyson Jost took MacKinnon’s spot on the top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen in the 3-2 win and scored his fifth goal of the season in the contest.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth left in the second period on Friday with an upper-body injury after a collision into the boards and wasn’t able to finish the outing. His status also won’t be known until closer to game time, with Dan Renouf the likely substitute if Nemeth can’t play.
Due to the back-to-back, Colorado did not have a morning skate today.
Below is the Avalanche’s projected lineup based on the forward combinations and defensive pairings from the start of Friday’s game in Los Angeles. They are subject to change.
92 Gabriel Landeskog – 17 Tyson Jost – 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin – 91 Nazem Kadri – 72 Joonas Donskoi
95 Andre Burakovsky – 18 Alex Newhook – 37 J.T. Compher
34 Carl Soderberg – 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – 44 Kiefer Sherwood
7 Devon Toews – 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves – 22 Conor Timmins
26 Jacob MacDonald – 24 Patrik Nemeth OR 2 Dan Renouf
35 Jonas Johansson
31 Philipp Grubauer
Scratch: Liam O’Brien
Taxi Squad: Dennis Gilbert, Jayson Megna, Hunter Miska,
Injury Report: Bowen Byram (upper body), Matt Calvert (upper body), Devan Dubnyk (COVID protocol), Pavel Francouz (lower body), Samuel Girard (lower body), Erik Johnson (upper body), Nathan MacKinnon (lower body), Logan O’Connor (lower body), Brandon Saad (lower body)