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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Sam Girard out two weeks, Ryan Graves day-to-day

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Stay tuned for updates on goalies.

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche
DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 30: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the San Jose Sharks at Ball Arena on April 30, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Avalanche: (33-12-4)
The Opponent: San Jose Sharks (20-26-5)
Puck drop: 8:30 p.m. MT
Watch: ALT, NBCSCA+
Listen: [Radio] Altitude 92.5, AM 950

The Colorado Avalanche are set to play the San Jose Sharks for a third time in a row tonight. The two teams will meet for a fourth and final time as they finish the season series on Wednesday. The Avs are in a three-way fight for first in the West Division, so winning these next two games against the lowly Sharks will be crucial to keeping home ice advantage — and potentially earning a much weaker opponent in St. Louis or Arizona. The current standings show the Avs four points back of Vegas and two points up on Minnesota, with Colorado having tonight’s game in hand.

After this mini-series, the Avs will have only five games left in the regular season. Four against the Los Angeles Kings, split in half by a date with the first-place Vegas Golden Knights next Monday. The Avs need to sweep these next two games and the series with the Kings if they want first place, and if all that fails then there’s a four-point swing available if they can beat the Knights.

There’s a really good chance the Avs win first place in the final week of the season. While the Avs have some pretty weak competition, the Knights will mostly have to play the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, and ours truly.

Colorado Avalanche

In terms of the lineup, Samuel Girard is expected to be out with a lower body injury for about two weeks, which might include playoff games. I don’t doubt he’ll push himself to be back in time. Fellow defenseman Ryan Graves will be out for less, day-to-day according to head coach Jared Bednar.

Based on last game’s lineup, the forwards should be static, with Dan Renouf and Kyle Burroughs as the third pair. Jacob MacDonald and Dennis Gilbert are also available as options.

Cale Makar and Devon Toews have been averaging over 25 minutes a night recently, so be prepared to see them stretch their legs yet again.

Projected Lineup

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Carl Soderberg - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Andre Burakovsky - Tyson Jost - Val Nichushkin
JT Compher - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Kiefer Sherwood

Defense

Cale Makar - Devon Toews
Patrik Nemeth - Conor Timmins
Dan Renouf - Kyle Burroughs

San Jose Sharks

This is the same Sharks lineup as last game. I don’t have much to say about them.

Projected Lineup

Forwards

Alexander Barabanov - Tomas Hertl - Evander Kane
Rudolfs Balcers - Logan Couture - John Leonard
Kevin Labanc - Alexander True - Noah Gregor
Timo Meier - Patrick Marleau - Joachim Blichfeld

Defense

Mario Ferraro - Brent Burns
Nikolai Knyzhov - Erik Karlsson
Brinson Pasichnuk - Marc-Edouard Vlasic

The Goalies

Devan Dubnyk got the start last game and won. Philipp Grubauer is available so it could be him. As of right now, there hasn’t been any information on who will be the starter tonight. Rookie goalie Josef Korenar took the loss last game against the Avs, Martin Jones is also on the Sharks roster.