It’s been a rough 24 hours in Colorado. First, it’s cold and snowy. Second, Gabriel Landeskog suffered a lower body injury and is out indefinitely. He joins Mikko Rantanen and Colin Wilson on the ever growling list of injuries.
The Colorado Avalanche are back on home ice after a three day break since their Sunday loss to the Anaheim Ducks. They face the 5-7 Florida Panthers for the second time in a week and a half. The Avs were victorious during their road trip through Florida, 5-4 in overtime.
Gabriel Landeskog suffered a lower body injury recently, most likely during Sunday’s game and despite a few days off, was unable to practice and will likely be out for an extended period of time. Not long after that news broke, Colin Wilson left Tuesday’s practice early with a “tweak” and will miss tonight’s game as well.
To fill Landeskog’s spot, the Avs recalled Jayson Megna from the Colorado Eagles. The 29-year-old forward has 20 points in 113 NHL games and put up four points in seven games with the Eagles. The lines have been shuffled, so in reality Megna will replace Wilson while Joonas Donskoi and Nazem Kadri join Nathan MacKinnon on the first line.
J.T. Compher and Philipp Grubauer missed Monday’s practice for maintenance days but both took the ice yesterday and should be ready to go tonight. Ryan Graves took Wilson’s spot on the fourth line towards the end of practice yesterday but returns to his defense partner Nikita Zadorov tonight.
Joonas Donskoi - Nathan MacKinnon- Nazem Kadri
Andre Burakovsky- Tyson Jost- J.T. Compher
Matt Nieto- PE Bellemare - Matt Calvert
Valeri Nichushkin -Vladislav Kamenev - Jayson Megna
Samuel Girard- Erik Johnson
Ian Cole- Cale Makar
Ryan Graves- Nikita Zadorov
The Panthers had yesterday off after a shootout loss and then a back-to-back in Canada. They lost 6-5 to the Calgary Flames, won 6-2 against the Edmonton Oilers, but fell 7-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. Tonight will be the fourth, and final game of their road trip.
Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are tied for the team lead with 13 points. Barkov has 13 assists while Huberdeau has five goals an eight assists. Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman are tied for the team lead with six points each. The Florida offense has been inconsistent, but they haven’t been shutout this month. Look for them to take some healthy shots tonight.
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgenii Dadonov
Frank Vatrano - Denis Malgin - Jayce Hawryluk
Dryden Hunt - Noel Acciari - Colton Sceviour
MacKenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad
Mark Pysyk - Anton Stralman
Philipp Grubauer should get the nod tonight. Against the Panthers earlier this season, he got the OT win, stopping 40 of the 44 shots he faced. Grubauer brings his average of 2.59 goals allowed per game and a 6-1 record in eight games into tonight.
Sergei Bobrovsky was also in net for the last match-up and received the OT loss, giving up five goals. He’s started nine games this season, but only has four wins, along with two losses, and an .870 save percentage.