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At the Rink blog

Avalanche's Sarich a late scratch vs. Blackhawks

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 8:43 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

CHICAGO -- The Colorado Avalanche planned to play seven defensemen Tuesday night at United Center, but Cory Sarich was a late scratch with a reported back issue.

Sarich's absence left the Avalanche with 17 skaters against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Colorado is also without center Paul Stastny, who isn't playing because of a leg injury that forced him to leave Colorado's previous game this past weekend at the Minnesota Wild.

Nick Holden is shifting with Sarich's regular defense partner, who briefly left the game in the first period after being hobbled by a hard slap shot by Brent Seabrook.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery