As was reported approximately one hour prior to Sunday night’s game against the Calgary Flames, Avalanche center Paul Stastny
will miss the remainder of the season due to a stress fracture in his leg. The assistant captain ranks second on the team in scoring with 57 points (22g/35a) in 74 games.
With Stastny out of the lineup tonight, forward Jay McClement
wore an ‘A’ on his jersey, marking the first time he has done so in an Avalanche uniform. McClement centered a line that featured Ryan Stoa
and Kevin Porter
on the wings.
Stastny becomes the sixth Avalanche player to be officially ruled out for the season, joining forwards Tomas Fleischmann (pulmonary emboli), T.J. Galiardi (forearm) and Peter Mueller
(head) and defensemen Kyle Cumiskey (whiplash) and Kyle Quincey (shoulder).Wilson Returns
Defenseman Ryan Wilson
made his return to the lineup tonight after missing Colorado’s four prior games with a knee injury sustained on March 24 versus Toronto.
Wilson was paired with Ryan O’Byrne on the Avalanche’s blue line and posted three shots on goal and two blocked shots in 21:49 of ice time.
Wilson’s return meant the Avalanche once again had six healthy defensemen available for Sunday’s game. Forward David Koci – a natural defenseman who was converted to forward a few years back – had filled in on the blue line during Colorado’s 4-3 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night. Koci returned to a forward position this evening.
Colorado’s other defensive pairings tonight included Matt Hunwick
skating with Erik Johnson
, and John-Michael Liles being partnered with rookie Jonas Holos
.Olver Back As Well
Although the Avalanche lost Stastny, the club saw the return of a healthy body up front in the form of Mark Olver
. The rookie missed the past two games due to illness and had been sidelined for three of the team’s past four games overall. Olver also sat out Colorado’s March 26 game in Los Angeles with a head injury after absorbing a hard open-ice hit from Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek on March 24.
The Northern Michigan University product played on Matt Duchene
’s wing tonight with Daniel Winnik on the opposite side. He was also involved in a strange sequence during the second period.
Approximately 3:30 into the frame, he put a body check on Flames defenseman Cory Sarich in Colorado’s offensive zone and fell to the ice after contact was made. However, during the sequence Olver’s skate blade became dislodged from his skate, meaning the forward had to push himself to the bench on one leg before heading to the locker room for some equipment repair.