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Special Teams Focus at Practice in Ottawa

Colorado practiced at the University of Ottawa on Wednesday

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

OTTAWA, OntariobAfter not having any power-play chances the previous night at the Buffalo Sabres, the Colorado Avalanche concentrated on special teams at practice on Wednesday.

The Avs had a full-team skate for half an hour at the University of Ottawa, but the majority of players stayed on after the session for 15 extra minutes to get a few extra reps in.

Although Colorado didn't have any man-advantage opportunities in Buffalo, having the majority of the game played at 5-on-5 allowed the team to use all of the forward combinations on a regular rotation.

"I am glad there wasn't a lot of power plays, we wanted to try and take advantage of our depth the way some of our lines are playing and I liked our discipline," Bednar said after the game on Tuesday. "It is just the way the game went. It wasn't overly physical, we competed hard but it wasn't as physical as what it could have been and it was a pretty clean game so only the necessary penalties were called."

The Avalanche earned a 6-1 win against the Sabres and will continue its five-game road trip on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. It is the first of two meetings between the clubs this year, both of which will take place less than a week apart.

Defenseman Mark Barberio was not on the ice for the practice as he was sent to the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles on a conditioning loan. Barberio has two assists in 14 games this season but hasn't played since Dec. 18 at the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Eagles will have four games in a six-game span as they host the San Jose Barracuda on Friday and Saturday and the Tucson Roadrunners on Tuesday and Wednesday.

With Barberio's assignment, the Avs recalled rear guard Calle Rosen from AHL Colorado. Rosen has skated in eight games with the Avalanche this year and has two assists in addition to his 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 29 games with the Eagles.

PRACTICE LINE COMBINATIONS

Forwards

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
11 Matt Calvert - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 72 Joonas Donskoi - 81 Vladislav Kamenev

Defensemen

27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole

Goaltenders

31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

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