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Avalanche's Stastny leaves game against Blues

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 7:15 PM / News

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

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Avalanche's Stastny leaves game against Blues
Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny left in the opening minute of the game against the St. Louis Blues with a back injury and did not return.

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny sustained a back injury on his first shift in the opening minute of the first period Saturday against the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center and did not return to the 2-1 loss.

Stastny missed two games earlier this season because of back spasms.

He centered a line with left wing Gabriel Landeskog and rookie Nathan MacKinnon at right wing, and ranked fifth on the Avalanche with 47 points in 57 games.

MacKinnon didn't have a shot on goal and had his scoring streak stopped at 13 games. He moved from right wing to center on a line with Landeskog and Jamie McGinn.

"It definitely threw us off a little bit," MacKinnon said. "Obviously Paulie is a huge part of our team. We were juggling around at times. I thought as a unit our line could've been better. We created some chances at the end and I thought we deserved to tie it."

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

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