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Avalanche playoffs

Andre Burakovsky Not On Ice For Avalanche Morning Skate, Nazem Kadri joins late



Photo by Terry Frei

TAMPA — Andre Burakovsky was traveling from Denver to Tampa Monday and hadn’t rejoined the Avalanche by the time they finished their morning skate at Amalie Arena.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar after the skate pronounced Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri as “day to day” and it seemed obvious neither would play against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Bednar said of Burakovsky: “He isn’t here yet.”

Burakovsky appeared to suffer a hand injury when he blocked a Victor Hedman shot in the Avalanche’s 7-0 rout of the Lightning in Game 2 Saturday night. He was additionally examined Sunday, not taking the team flight to Tampa.

Kadri suffered a broken thumb in the Western Conference Finals against Edmonton. Tonight’s Game 3 will be his fourth game out of the lineup. He did come on the ice near the end of the morning skate and stayed out to work with the scratches and extra bodies.

As has been the norm in the playoffs, Gabriel Landeskog didn’t participate in the morning skate, but Bednar again labeled it a “maintenance” absence.

If Burakovsky doesn’t play in Game 3, Nicolas Aube-Kubel likely will return to the lineup.

With a 2-0 lead in the series and with the Avalanche coming off a stunningly decisive win in Game 2, Bednar again emphasized the need to stay level-headed.

“We know how good of a team Tampa has been and is,” he said. “They’re coming home.. In our minds, all we did was take care of our home ice. We got the start we wanted in the series.”

Bednar confirmed he was part of the Avalanche entourage that visited Tampa’s famed Bern’s Steak House Sunday night.

“It was good,” he said. “Ate too much.”

On the Lightning side, coach Jon Cooper said forward Brayden Point will be a “game-time decision.”

He also emphasized the importance of not taking the home-ice advantage in Games 3 and 4 for granted.

“It’s always good to be home,” he said. “The one thing I tell our guys is just because we’re walking into Amalie Arena, that does not mean you’re going to win a hockey game. You still have to play the games… Naturally, you get the last change. There’s a reason the home team wins more games than they lose. But it’s no guarantee. Our fans have been great in this building and hopefully we draw some energy from the crowd and maybe that helps our start tonight.”

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