Counting on Grubauer again
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This will be a tough one for the Avalanche, facing red-hot Columbus in the fourth game of their five-game road trip.
While the Avalanche have gone 2-1-0 in the first three games of the trip and 5-1-2 in the past eight games overall, the Blue Jackets are on a 9-0-1 run.
Colorado (30-16-6) has a one-point lead over Dallas for second place in the Central Division with two games in hand, trailing first-place St. Louis by six points with three games in hand.
The Blue Jackets (30-16-9) are third in the Metropolitan Division. Rookie goalie Elvis Merzlikins
has won eight in a row with shutouts in his past two games.
will make his fourth start in a row after he made 25 saves Thursday in the Avalanche’s 4-1 win in Ottawa.
The Avalanche finish the trip Sunday in Minnesota. They’ve gone 5-3-0 in the first game when playing back-to-back and 3-4-1 in the second game.
The projected lineup:
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky
Matt Calvert -- J.T. Compher -- Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Tyson Jost
Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar
Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov -- Ian Cole