Avalanche's MacKinnon clears COVID-19 protocol, will make season debut against Capitals

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Nathan MacKinnon will play on Tuesday after clearing the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Nathan MacKinnon will play on Tuesday after clearing the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Nathan MacKinnon will make his 2021-22 NHL season debut on Tuesday against the Washington Capitals.

The superstar missed the Colorado Avalanche's first two games of the campaign after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 12.

The Avalanche travelled to Washington for the game on Monday, but MacKinnon was not allowed to travel with the team because he hadn't received the specified number of negative COVID-19 tests to allow him to rejoin the squad. Instead, MacKinnon travelled to Washington on his own a day later and received the proper clearance ahead of the contest.

On Tuesday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed he'd be in the lineup.

Through its first pair of games, Colorado has been without some of its top forwards. In addition to MacKinnon's absence, team captain Gabriel Landeskog has also been on the sidelines after earning a two-game suspension for boarding Chicago Blackhawks forwards Kirby Dach in the Avalanche's opening game. Landeskog will serve the final game of his punishment on Tuesday night.

The Avs own a 1-1-0 record through the first week of the season. They defeated Chicago 4-2 last Wednesday but lost to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-3 on Saturday.

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