Avalanche’s MacKinnon, Landeskog and Rantanen will take the ice in preseason opener

The Avalanche’s top line of center Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen will play in Tuesday’s preseason opener against the Vegas Golden Knights at the Pepsi Center, Colorado coach Jared Bednar said Monday after the training-camp finale at Family Sports Center.

Veteran defensemen Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and newcomer Ian Cole also will be in the 20-player lineup, and goalie Semyon Varlamov will start and play two periods in net, Bednar said.

Spencer Martin is expected to replace Varlamov for the third period.

New winger Matt Calvert, was was acquired with Cole on July 1 during free agency, will play on a line with second-year center J.T. Compher and rookie right winger Logan O’Connor, the former University of Denver standout who was originally slated to serve as the Pioneers’ captain this season.

The Avs’ lineup Tuesday will be will be rounded out by youngsters — many of whom will be reassigned to the minors or their junior teams during the preseason. The Avs are carrying 31 forwards, 19 defensemen and five goalies. They must get down to 23 players — likely 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies — in the days leading into the Oct. 4 opener against the visiting Minnesota Wild.

Timmins showing. Rookie defenseman Conor Timmins, who will celebrate his 20th birthday Tuesday, skated and shot pucks with other injured players late in Monday’s final training camp session. Timmins has been suffering from concussion-like symptoms. He was held out of the Avs’ development camp at the end of June and still hasn’t been cleared for contract.

“Making process — slowly but surely,” Bednar said of Timmins, the Avs’ 2017 second-round draft pick (No. 32 overall). “I don’t have any update on him besides the fact he was going to try to skate today and see how it goes.”

Footnotes. The Avs’ two sessions Monday featured extensive work on the power play and penalty kill. MacKinnon’s was on a power-play unit with Compher in the middle and Barrie at the point in the second session. Second-year center Tyson Jost, who was on the No. 1 power play with the top line and Barrie last season, worked on the power play in the earlier session. … Defensemen Patrik Nemeth and Nikita Zadorov continue to practice as a paring in red non-contact sweaters. Both had offseason shoulder surgery but are expected to be in the opening-night lineup. Zadorov said he was told he’ll play in the final three preseason games.

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