has an undisclosed injury and won’t play Wednesday when the Avalanche open a two-game set against Los Angeles at Ball Arena.
Defenseman Samuel Girard
will return after missing six games with a lower-body injury. Jacob MacDonald
will be scratched.
Here are the GAME NOTES.
The Avalanche will win the Presidents’ Trophy and West Division regular-season championship, giving them home ice throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs, if they win Wednesday and Thursday, no matter what Vegas does in its season finale Wednesday at San Jose.
The second-place Avalanche trail the first-place Golden Knights by two points with one game in hand and would win the tiebreaker based on regulation wins.
Third-place Minnesota, which is three points behind the Avalanche, plays at fourth-place St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday. The Blues are locked into fourth place.
MacKinnon played 20:32 and had two shots on goal Monday in the Avalanche’s 2-1 win in Las Vegas after missing the two previous games with a lower-body injury.
"He's day to day," coach Jared Bednar
said after the morning skate. "He got dinged up in the Vegas game, unrelated to the injury he had the previous two games.
“At this point, we're trying to get him ready for the playoffs, so he's unable to play tonight and hopefully he's good and healthy and ready to go for Game 1 of the playoffs."
MacKinnon leads the Avalanche in scoring with 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists) in 48 games.
Here’s Nazem Kadri
on what it would mean if the Avalanche can finish first overall in the NHL:
“Especially this year it might make it more special because of the grind of the season and the caliber of the teams we’ve been playing constantly. For us, we talked about this early on in the season and it’s nice that it could possibly come to fruition.”
The projected lineup:
Gabriel Landeskog -- Tyson Jost -- Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin -- Nazem Kadri -- Joonas Donskoi
Andre Burakovsky -- Alex Newhook -- J.T. Compher
Carl Soderberg -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Kiefer Sherwood
Devon Toews -- Cale Makar
Ryan Graves – Conor Timmins
Samuel Girard -- Patrik Nemeth