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Francouz will start vs. Stars

August 5, 2020, 2:41 PM ET [6 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Pavel Francouz will make his postseason debut Wednesday when the Avalanche play Dallas in their second round-robin game at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

“Frankie’s going to play in goal tonight,” coach Jared Bednar said Wednesday morning. “We’re going to try and keep everyone going here, and we feel confident in both guys. We don’t want it to be too long for him in-between games.”

Francouz, in his first full NHL season, didn’t play against Dallas. Philipp Grubauer went 0-2-2 against the Stars, allowing 11 goals.

Francouz played the second half of the Avalanche’s 3-2 exhibition win against Minnesota on July 29 and stopped all 14 shots.

GAME NOTES

Grubauer had 31 saves Sunday in the Avalanche’s 2-1 win against St. Louis and likely will play Saturday against Vegas in their round-robin finale.

Francouz posted a 21-7-4 record in 34 games with a 2.41 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Bednar said he was considering “a couple” other lineup changes but wasn’t ready to reveal them. Chances are Matt Nieto will play after being scratched against the Blues. Not sure who he would replace because Bednar liked how Tyson Jost played against St. Louis and in training camp.

The Stars blew a 3-1 third-period lead against the Golden Knights on Monday in their first round-robin game, turning it into a 5-3 loss.

But the Stars, who don’t score much, are usually stingy on defense and always seem to give the Avalanche fits.

Anton Khudobin is expected to be in goal. Ben Bishop made 28 saves against Vegas, but he allowed three goals on 15 shots in the third period and coach Rick Bowness wants to give both goalies some work before the Stanley Cup playoffs open next week.

Khudobin made 38 saves in a 2-1 win against the Avalanche on Nov. 11.

“They are obviously a good hockey team,” defenseman Ian Cole said Tuesday. The Avalanche didn’t skate Wednesday. “For whatever reason, there are always teams that you match up a little better against, whether those teams are actually better is kind of dependent on the matchup.

“I think everyone in our room is aware of the troubles we might have had with them in the past, and I think that everyone is very determined to try and end that. You want to talk about the law of averages, I guess we are due.”

The lineup:

FORWARDS
Andre Burakovsky -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nazem Kadri -- Valeri Nichushkin
Vladislav Namestnikov -- J.T. Compher -- Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto/Tyson Jost -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Calvert

DEFENSE
Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar
Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson
Ian Cole -- Nikita Zadorov

GOALIES
Pavel Francouz
Philipp Grubauer



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