The Colorado Avalanche might get a significant lineup upgrade Wednesday night for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final as they attempt to rebound from a 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3.
Avalanche second-line center Nazem Kadri was a full participant in Wednesday’s morning skate. He also took reps in the bumper role on the second-power play unit. It doesn’t guarantee his availability for Game 4 but it certainly gives him the strongest odds of playing he’s had so far during the series.
Kadri, 31, has not played since Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers, when a hit from behind by Evander Kane gave Kadri a thumb injury that required surgery. Kadri had six goals and 14 points in 13 postseason games before suffering the injury.
His return would come at an opportune time for Colorado given the Lightning’s injury woes. They will once gain be without center Brayden Point Wednesday night. He missed the second and third round of the playoffs after suffering a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first round, then returned for Games 1 and 2 of the Final before aggravating the injury and missing Game 3. On the bright side for Tampa, star right winger Nikita Kucherov, who left Game 3 after taking a hit from Colorado blueliner Devon Toews, is expected to play in Game 4.