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Why isn’t Avalanche D Cale Makar playing in Game 5 vs. Kraken?

Colorado is without defenseman Cale Makar for Game 5 on Wednesday night. We go over why he’s sitting out.

Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche looks on after his penalty after checking Jared McCann of the Seattle Kraken during the first period in Game Four of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Climate Pledge Arena on April 24, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche will be without defenseman Cale Makar for their matchup vs. the Seattle Kraken in Game 5 of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night at Ball Arena in Denver at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. We go over why Makar is sitting out for the Avalanche with the series tied 2-2.

Cale Makar lineup status

Makar isn’t playing because he was suspended one game for his hit on Kraken F Jared McCann in Game 4 of the first round on Monday. After missing a shot on a breakaway, McCann skates past the net and toward the board. With the puck clear of the zone, Makar, who was trailing on the play, decided to check McCann hard into the boards. McCann was forced to leave the game and did not return. Makar was given a minor penalty for interference on the play. You can check out the video and full explanation on the play from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner was handed down a suspension and will be eligible to return for Game 6 on Friday in Seattle. Makar has a goal and two assists over four games this postseason. Last year, he helped lead the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup champion and received playoff MVP.

With Makar out, the Avalanche will insert Jack Johnson into the lineup for Game 5. Devon Toews and Sam Girard will skate on the top defensive pairing.