On Wednesday night, the Colorado Avalanche will expand their roster significantly as they look to take control of the Stanley Cup final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nazem Kadri will return to the lineup for Game 4 after missing the last four games due to an injury he sustained in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Oilers striker hits Qadri in the back of the board Evander Kanewho was suspended one game for the hit.
There was no timetable as to how long Kadri had to be out and there was never a guarantee he could return this postseason. Over the past couple of days, he has been slowly coming back and has made enough progress to come back.
Kadri was one of the Avalanche’s best and highest scoring players this season and posted his career best in the regular season. He scored 28 goals, 59 assists and 87 points in 2021/22 in just 71 games. Add in his two-way play and defensive shooting and he’s one of the best centers in the league. Before the injury, he had six goals, eight assists and 14 points in the playoffs.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]
Part of what made Avalanche’s performance so impressive was the severe injuries they were able to endure. Along with Kadri’s absence, Colorado is also playing without one of its best defensemen. Samuel Girard, after he was injured in the second round series against the St. Louis Blues. He’s out before the end of the playoffs.
With a win on Wednesday, the Avalanche will be able to take a 3-1 lead in the series. The return of Kadri certainly helps improve their chances.
COLORADO EVALANCE vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (Call leads 2-1)
Game 1 – Avalanche 4, Lightning 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Avalanche 7, Lightning 0
Game 3 – Lightning 6, Avalanche 2
Game 4 – June 22: Avalanche at Lightning 8pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 5 – June 24: Lightning in an Avalanche, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 6 – June 26: Avalanche at Lightning 8pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 7 – June 28: Lightning in an Avalanche, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)