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Avs Fall To Islanders With Short Bench

The Avs played more than two periods with 10 forwards

by Callie Parmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche had a short bench early in Sunday's contest.

Halfway through the first period in the Avalanche's matchup with the New York Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and Colorado's bench was looking a little bare. The Avs lost 6-4.

Blake Comeau was helped off the ice after taking a puck to his head, and Matt Duchene followed him as he was traded during the game.

Comeau was assisted by Carl Soderberg and head athletic trainer Matt Sokolowski after attempting to block a shot. The puck rode up his stick and hit him on the side of his ear.

"The stick hit him behind the ear and he went to get looked at," said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar afterward. "Looks like everything is okay for now. He will travel with us and hopefully be ready for the weekend."

It seemed like luck was not going in the Avs' favor as a few of the Islanders' goals came off fortunate bounces. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier was in the crease for the Avalanche and made 22 saves in the contest.

"We played pretty hard but made some mistakes," Bednar said after the game. "You know they earned some breaks tonight. They were shooting the puck and going to the front of our net a little bit and they got some bounces. I think there were at least two or three at that went off us so you know tough breaks in goal, especially for Berns there tonight."

Due to the loss of Comeau and Duchene in the first frame, the Avs played more than two periods with just 10 forwards.

Bednar is looking at that as a positive, as some of his players were able to see more ice time.

"Going 10 here tonight in a second part of a back-to-back, I'm sure was a little bit tiring," said Bednar. "But it is good to see some of the guys playing a little bit more than they have recently as see what they can do."

Forward Alexander Kerfoot is one of the young forwards who saw more playing time. He had 20:49 in ice time after only playing 9:14 in the team's last contest. He found the back of the net twice at the end of the third period, scoring just 21 seconds apart.

The Avalanche will not play again until Friday when it takes on the Ottawa Senators in the first of two contests as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden.

Colorado's schedule will work in its benefit as they currently have multiple skaters on injured reserved.

"We need to get some of these guys healthy," Bednar said after the game. "We have a couple of days off here, and we have been fortunate that we had a three-day break last week. We had a four day break this week, and we are off again for four days. That is allowing a lot of those guys to get healthy without missing too many of our games."

The Avalanche only has 11 games between Oct. 19 and Nov. 18 with four four-day breaks in between outings during that stretch.

Coach Bednar is hoping that some of his injured players will be able to recover before the contests in Sweden.

"We have had our fair share of injuries," said Bednar. "You know we aren't really talking about it right now but we have been grinding through 5 or 6 of them. So hopefully we get some of those guys back [for our next game]."

KEEPING THE STREAKS ALIVE

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Barrie all extended their point streaks in Sunday's loss.

MacKinnon has now recorded four multi-point games after scoring and registering an assist in the contest. He now has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his four last outings.

Rantanen also has a four-game goal streak, his career high. He has five goals over his last three outings. Defenseman Tyson Barrie also extended his assist streak to four games. He has registered a point in 10 of his last 11 games.

LINDHOLM UPDATE

Anton Lindholm was out of Sunday's contest after suffering a broken jaw in the game against the Flyers and will be out indefinitely.

He will miss both of the Avs contests in his native Sweden as part of the 2017 NHL SAP Global Series on Friday and Saturday.  

The Skelleftea, Sweden, native has played in nine games this season and has averaged 15:26 of ice time. 

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