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Nazem Kadri returns to lineup for Game 4 vs. Lightning

Here’s the latest news about Avalanche C Nazem Kadri ahead of Game 4.

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two
Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche skates prior to the game against the Edmonton Oilers in Game Two of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena on June 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 4 update — Not only did Kadri return to the lineup from injury, but he also scored the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory over the Lightning in Game 4 on Wednesday night. The Avs lead the series and have a chance to clinch the Cup at home in Game 5 on Friday.

In a surprise move, the Avalanche have Kadri in the lineup for Game 4 vs. the Lightning. He’s centering the second line with Landeskog and Nichushkin, who was on the first line. Artturi Lehkonen is up on the top line with MacKinnon and Rantanen.

June 22 update: Kadri is officially doubtful for Game 4, so the Avalanche are likely to be without two key offensive weapons since Andre Burakovsky has already been ruled out. Kadri seemed like he might have been able to give it a go but a high-pressure hostile road setting might not be the right place for him to return. Colorado hopes to have both players back for Game 5.

The Colorado Avalanche could be getting a huge part of their offense back in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Head coach Jared Bednar said he expects Nazem Kadri, who skated with the team ahead of Game 3 before ultimately sitting out, to “be an option” at some point in this series. That point could come Wednesday in Game 4, with the Lightning looking to even the series while the Avs try to take a 3-1 lead back home for Game 5.

Kadri suffered a thumb injury in Game 3 of the conference final against the Edmonton Oilers after a hit from Evander Kane. He reportedly underwent surgery for the issue, but looks to be close to coming back.

The center played 71 games for the team this season, scoring 28 goals and recording 59 assists. His 87 points rank third on the team behind Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon.