When the Avalanche went to Calgary on Oct. 13, Flames center Nazem Kadri was presented with the Stanley Cup ring he won with Colorado last June.

Kadri earned the jewelry, scoring an overtime goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to give the Avalanche a 3-1 series lead over Tampa Bay, and two games later, they closed out the Lightning.

Colorado wanted to re-sign Kadri but salary-cap limitations prevented it, so he went north to Calgary. He will return to play in Denver for the first time when the Flames face the Avalanche on Saturday night.

After stumbling for a while, the Avalanche have surged, winning their past four games and going 5-0-1 in the past six. Colorado recorded a dominant 5-1 road win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday and will try to cap a string of three straight back-to-back sets with a win over Calgary.

The recent stretch has moved Colorado within three points of the first-place Dallas Stars in the tight Central Division, and the fourth-place Avalanche have two games in hand.

The Avalanche will face the Flames without Cale Makar, who will miss his third straight game while in the concussion protocol. He took a forearm to the face at St. Louis on Feb. 18, his first game back after missing four due to a concussion sustained at Pittsburgh on Feb. 7.

“Let’s face it, (the concussions) are related,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “I don’t think that he goes into protocol on the hit in St. Louis with the glove to the face, on any other occasion … except for the fact that he’s just coming out of one.”

The Flames are coming off a 4-3 overtime road loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday and are 2-2-2 in their past six games. They are outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference right now but are just three points behind the Avalanche, who occupy the final wild-card position.

“I think we’re one of those teams that, if you’re ahead of us, you’re hoping the Calgary Flames don’t get in,” forward Blake Coleman said. “We’ve shown flashes. When we put it all together, we’ve beaten some of the best of the best this year and we’ve had spurts where we’re a really dangerous team.

“Obviously, there have been letdowns — and against teams we feel like we should beat, for whatever reason — but against the best of the best this year, we’ve shown pretty well. So we just have to get there.”

That indicates Colorado should expect the Flames’ best Saturday night, which will be the teams’ third and final matchup of the regular season. The foes split the first two games in Calgary, a 5-3 Flames win on Oct. 13 and 4-1 Avalanche win on Jan. 18.

Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev was in net Friday night, so it’s likely Jonas Johansson will get his first start of the season on Saturday. Johansson and Justus Annunen have served as backup goaltenders while Pavel Francouz has been out due to a lower-body injury.

–Field Level Media