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Open Thread: Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers (7:30 p.m.)

It’s a must-win game for both teams.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are coming off a successful road trip where they played far from their best hockey. They struggled to beat the hapless Sharks in overtime a week ago, then drubbed them 6-2 two nights later. After another day off, the Avs came into Los Angeles and promptly got out-shot 18-4 in the first period, but thanks to some early Alexandar Georgiev heroics, he kept the Kings at bay and Colorado found their footing to win the 3rd period, and steal two points. The next night the Avs looked to be on cruise control against the Anaheim Ducks, only to watch their two-goal lead get turned into a two-goal deficit in the blink of an eye before storming back to win in OT thanks to some really sloppy Anaheim play that put them on the power play for practically the entire last 10 minutes of the game.

Any critique of Colorado’s play the past week must include the fact that they played without some key players like Bowen Byram and Cale Makar, in addition to still missing guys like Josh Manson and Gabriel Landeskog, but there is finally some good news on the injury front today. Byram is good to go tonight and Artturi Lehkonen is back at practice.

Cale Makar is skating today but he is still donning a red non-contact jersey, so he will not play tonight. While Lehkonen seems closer to a return than Makar, Jared Bednar confirmed he is not quite ready yet and will also not play tonight.

Projected Lines:

Evan Rodrigues (9) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Denis Malgin (81) - J.T. Compher (37) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Lars Eller (20) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Ben Meyers (59) - Alex Newhook (18) - Matt Nieto (83)

Devon Toews (7) - Sam Girard (49)
Bowen Byram (4) - Erik Johnson (6)
Jack Johnson (3) - Brad Hunt (17)

Edmonton Oilers Projected Lines

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) — Connor McDavid (97) — Zach Hyman (18)
Evander Kane (91) — Leon Draisaitl (29) — Kailer Yamamoto (56)
Klim Kostin (21) — Nick Bjugstad (72) — Mattias Janmark (26)
Warren Foegele (37) — Derek Ryan (10)

Mattias Ekholm (14) — Evan Bouchard (2)
Darnell Nurse (25) — Philip Broberg (86)
Brett Kulak (27) — Vincent Desharnais (73)
Jason Demers (44)

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