Avalanche's Mikko Rantanen: Expects to play Thursday

Rantanen (upper body) should practice fully Wednesday and is expected to be in Colorado's lineup for Thursday's series opener against Calgary, Rick Sadowski of NHL.com reports.

Rantanen hasn't played since March 21 but appears on track to be healthy once the playoffs get underway. Colorado is off Tuesday, but according to head coach Jared Bednar, the team is hopeful that its star forward will be a full participant in Wednesday's practice ahead of Game 1. In 74 games this season, Rantanen recorded a career-best 87 points, 33 of which came with the man advantage.

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