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Colorado Avalanche Gameday: Visitors from the Island

The season series wraps up against the Islanders.

Colorado Avalanche v New York Islanders Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Coming off their weekend victory over the Nashville Predators, the Colorado Avalanche have replaced their entire fourth line coming into tonight’s matchup against the New York Islanders. They’ll look to win back-to-back games for only the second time in December over an Isles team that just snapped a three-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory in Las Vegas.


The top six seems to have solidified since Evan Rodrigues’ return from injury, but half the bottom six from last game is now elsewhere. Jean-Luc Foudy and Charles Hudon were sent down to the Eagles, and Dryden Hunt was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Denis Malgin. In their places, Martin Kaut was called up to play after the Malgin trade, though he will not be able to play on the same day he was traded as he’ll need to sort out travel and visa complications.

Kaut will likely line up with Kurtis MacDermid fresh off IR. Darren Helm took morning skate in a red non-contact jersey. Kaut might center MacDermid on paper, but those guys are both likely to see extremely limited minutes. It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out. For now, we will have to wait and see what the fourth line actually looks like, unless Helm makes the surprising call to play.


Mikko Rantanen (96) – J.T. Compher (37) – Artturi Lehkonen (62)
Alex Newhook (18) – Evan Rodrigues (9) – Val Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) – Ben Meyers (59) – Logan O’Connor (25)
Kurtis MacDermid (56) – Jacob MacDonald (26) – Martin Kaut (61)

Devon Toews (7) – Cale Makar (8)
Erik Johnson (6) – Samuel Girard (49)
Andreas Englund (88) – Brad Hunt (17)

UPDATE: Jacob MacDonald is IN tonight and will be on the fourth line.


December has been a trying month for the Isles, with wins in Vegas and New Jersey and at home against Chicago peppered in among a bunch of losses. Goalie Semyon Varlamov was hurt in Vegas and they were already missing a few key guys in Adam Pelech, Cal Clutterbuck, and Kyle Palmieri, but they’re still largely the team that rallied back to beat Colorado with four third-period goals in October.

Without Pelech, young defensemen Alexander Romanov and Robin Salo have stepped up and contributed, though Ryan Pulock’s struggles have accentuated the absence of his long-time partner. The decline of the high-paid Pelech-Pulock pair in the last few years has been a primary cause of the Islanders’ recent struggles and makes this blueline group very exploitable for opposing offenses.


Josh Bailey (12) - Mat Barzal (13) - Oliver Wahlstrom (26)
Anders Lee (27) - Brock Nelson (29) - Anthony Beauviller (18)
Zach Parise (11) - Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) – Simon Holmstrom (10)
Matt Martin (17) - Casey Cizikas (53) – Hudson Fasching (20)

Alexander Romanov (28) - Noah Dobson (8)
Sebastian Aho (25) - Scott Mayfield (24)
Robin Salo (2) - Ryan Pulock (6)


Ilya Sorokin will play for New York, and Alexandar Georgiev will likely go for Colorado as it seems he and Pavel Francouz are trading off every two games right now.