COpponent: Who: Calgary Flames (15-12-4)
Where: Pepsi Center - Denver, Colorado
Puck drop: 7:00 pm MT
Watch: ALT, Sportsnet West
The Colorado Avalanche return home after sweeping an eastern road trip and extending their winning streak to six games. The Avs will take on the Calgary Flames who are on a four game winning streak of their own as they look to turn their season around after the removal of Head Coach Bill Peters.
Dating back to last year’s playoffs, the Avalanche have won their last six games against Calgary, so they’ll be hoping to continue their dominance of the Flames and Nathan MacKinnon & Co. continue their ascent up the Western Conference standings.
Just when it seems the Avalanche are finally getting healthy - Mikko Rantanen, Andre Burakovsky, Matt Calvert and Gabriel Landeskog all returned to the lineup last week - the injury bug strikes again. Nazem Kadri for hurt in his return to Toronto, then both Philipp Grubauer and Cale Makar were forced out of the game against the Bruins Saturday night.
With Makar absent from the morning skate, Nikita Zadorov found himself in a power play jersey.
Sunday morning, T.J. Tynan was placed on waivers to be sent back to the Eagles. This is likely in case the team needed to call up a goalie to backup Pavel Francouz tonight.
Kadri skated today but was in a non-contact sweater.
Makar out D2D UBI.— AJ Haefele (@AJHaefele) December 9, 2019
Kadri out D2D LBI.
Grubauer out D2D LBI.
Francouz starts tonight.
Bednar says "confident is a strong word but there's a possibility" Makar plays this week.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Joonas Donskoi - J.T. Compher - Andre Burakovsky
Valeri Nichushkin - P.E. Bellemare - Matt Calvert
Vladislav Kamenev - Tyson Jost - Matt Nieto
Samuel Girard - Nikita Zadorov
Mark Barberio - Ian Cole
Ryan Graves - Calle Rosen
Since taking over for Bill Peters, new Flames Head Coach Geoff Ward has the team playing much better thanks to a number of lineup changes. He’s moved star forward Johnny Gaudreau down to the third line in order to make a more balanced attack - a move that is so good it even has Milan Lucic on a two game scoring streak.
Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane
Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund - Dillon Dube
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Johnny Gaudreau
Zac Rinaldo - Tobias Rieder - Michael Frolik
Mark Girodano - Ramsus Andersson
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
T.J. Brodie - Michael Stone
Philipp Grubauer was on the ice for the game day skate and it seems as though his hamstring isn’t much of a problem. That said, he won’t be more than a backup tonight. That means Pavel Francouz is set to make his eighth NHL start. He comes into this game with a very impressive .931 sv%.
For the Flames, we’re expected to see David Rittich between the pipes. Rittich has a 13-7-4 record and .914 sv% so far this season.
*UPDATE: Scratch that, the Avalanche have recalled Adam Werner to back up Frnacouz tonight