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Avs Forwards Close to Returning

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche will make a quick swing into Southern California to face the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, and it appears the club could have some reinforcements in its lineup.

After dressing only 19 skaters Friday against the Vancouver Canucks – one short of the NHL’s limit for a game – Colorado could again have a full lineup on Sunday.

Forwards Darcy Tucker (back), Chris Stewart (head) and Marek Svatos (head) all took part in Saturday’s practice and will be on the trip. The official status of each player will be determined on Sunday morning.

Of the three players who could possibly return to action, Tucker has been out of the lineup the longest. The 13-year NHL veteran has missed Colorado’s last five games due to back spasms, but had scored goals in consecutive games prior to his injury.

Stewart left the Avs’ March 19 tilt against Edmonton in the second period and hasn’t played since. He is Colorado’s leading rookie scorer with 18 points (10g/8a) in 46 games. Svatos, meanwhile, exited a March 22 contest at San Jose after the second period with a head injury. The winger is tied for fourth on the Avalanche in goals (14) and ranks sixth in points (33).

Wojtek Wolski, who missed Friday’s contest against Vancouver with an illness, will not make the trip to Anaheim.

Peter Budaj will start in goal during Sunday’s game, which will be the second meeting between Colorado and Anaheim in five days.

Hendricks Reassigned
The Avalanche has reassigned forward Matt Hendricks to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. The Blaine, Minn., native was recalled from the Monsters for a second time on March 24 and had played in Colorado’s past two games.

In four games with the Avs this season, Hendricks has totaled five shots on goal, 13 penalty minutes and a +1 plus/minus rating.
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