Avalanche’s Makar rejoining lineup vs. Jets

NHL

Avalanche star defenseman Cale Makar will return from a two-game absence when Colorado hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday in Denver.

Makar, 25, missed the last two games due to a lower-body injury. The former Norris Trophy recipient entered Thursday with a club-best 27 assists in 23 games and is tied with Nathan MacKinnon for the team lead with 34 points.

MacKinnon didn’t participate in the morning skate but was expected to play against the Jets, while forward Andrew Cogliano (lower body) will return after missing Tuesday’s game. Forward Valeri Nichushkin (illness) didn’t play Tuesday and is doubtful for Thursday.

“Nate will play tonight,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar told reporters Thursday. “I don’t think Val will be in tonight.”

Nichushkin is second on Colorado with 10 goals and fourth with 21 points in 24 games.

Forward Logan O’Connor could remain on the top line with MacKinnon after playing with the two-time All-Star on Tuesday.

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