Avalanche F Nazem Kadri returns for Cup Final debut

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup for Stanley Cup Final Game 4 against the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Kadri missed the first three games of the series as well as his team’s final Western Conference finals clash due to a thumb injury that required surgery. He got hurt when he was hit from behind against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the series that ended in a four-game Colorado sweep.

Kadri, who plays center on the second line and is a strong checker, went into the Wednesday game having collected six goals and 14 points in 13 playoff games this year.

The Avalanche led the best-of-seven finals 2-1 heading into Wednesday’s contest.

The Lightning appear to have avoided an injury issue with leading scorer forward Nikita Kucherov in the lineup after he left with six minutes left in Game 3 on Monday.