ELMONT, N.Y. – The Colorado Avalanche will have to play again without their leading scorer tonight. That man is Valeri Nichushkin.
Valeri Nichushkin will miss the game with the New York Islanders here at the UBS Center, with that same lower-body injury that kept him out last night in New Jersey. My Avalanche press colleague, Bennett Durando, was the first to tweet that news, so full credit there.
I’m sitting here in the press box, 90 minutes from the drop of the puck, so I don’t have any line combos or the official lineup yet. Alexandar Georgiev will get the start in goal, and word on the street is that Semyon Varlamov will start for the Islanders.
This is not a BIG game for the Avalanche, but it’s one they really want to win. A 5-3-1 record to take to Finland for the two Global Series games next week looks a lot better than 4-4-1.
NOTEBOOK: The Avalanche will stay overnight in New York and spend most of the day in the Big Apple before flying to Helsinki Sunday night. The Avalanche will stay three days in Helsinki before traveling to Tampere, where the games will be played. … The regular Avalanche TV crew will travel to Finland and broadcast the games. In fact, they will be the official crew for all the hockey networks for the games, including the NHL Network, Sportsnet in Canada, etc. Will they be available to see on Comcast? Uh, I don’t know about that. … Today is Mikko Rantanen’s 26th birthday. … Entering this game, the Avalanche was 141-55-20 since the start of the 2019-20 season, best in the NHL. … The Avalanche rank eighth in the NHL in hits (214).