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Galiardi Will Return For Saturday's Game

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco confirmed following Friday’s practice at Family Sports Center that TJ Galiardi has been recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League and will be in the lineup Saturday afternoon when Colorado hosts Boston.

“At the time, like I said, it was the right thing to do for him,” said Sacco. “We don’t control circumstances. With (Tomas) Fleischmann being hurt, Galiardi gets a chance quickly.”

Galiardi was reassigned to Lake Erie on Wednesday and played in the Monsters’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Rochester Americans last night. The forward recorded four shots and picked up an assist on David Van Der Gulik’s game-tying goal during the third period.

The Avalanche has recently seen other players respond well after being sent to the American Hockey League and then earning a recall.

As Avalanche fans know, Chris Stewart began the 2009-10 campaign in Denver but was reassigned to Lake Erie on Oct. 20. After a two-game stint with the Monsters, Stewart was quickly recalled and went on to lead the Avalanche in goals (28) while finishing second in points (64).

Earlier this season, Kevin Porter was reassigned to Lake Erie on Oct. 30 and was recalled on Nov. 5 without appearing in any games with the Monsters. The forward made a triumphant return in his first game back, scoring twice in Colorado’s 5-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Nov. 6. Porter, who had gone without a point in his first six NHL games before being reassigned, has posted 14 points (9g/5a) in 35 games since his recall.

Bruins Up Next
The Avalanche will see a rare appearance from the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

The last time the Bruins came to Denver was during the opening night of the 2008-09 campaign – a contest that ended in a 5-4 Boston victory.

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Following today’s practice, Ryan Wilson discussed how Colorado’s defensive unit would handle some of the talented forwards on Boston’s roster.

“They have some skilled guys. (Nathan) Horton has one of the best shots in the game,” said Wilson. “You just have to key in on those big guys and make sure they don’t have easy lanes to the net, because you know that’s where they’re going. You just have to try to box them out as best you can.”

The Bruins boast a talented core of forwards, but the most impressive player on the opposite end of the ice may be defenseman Zdeno Chara. Boston’s captain clocks in at an imposing 6-foot-9 and 255 pounds. A big, physical defenseman, Chara is also dangerous in the offensive end. He has led the club’s defensemen in scoring during each of his first four seasons in Boston, and is again pacing the team’s blueliners with 25 points (10g/15a) this year.

“For me, I’m just going to have to use my speed and my quickness,” Matt Duchene said about a potential matchup against Chara. “As a smaller guy, that’s my weapon against a guy like that. Try and get low and don’t let him get body positioning on me because I’m not out-muscling someone that size. That’s going to be the difference tomorrow.”

O’Reilly Skates
Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly was on the ice this morning for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Jan. 14 in Minnesota.

O’Reilly skated on his own while wearing an orange non-contact jersey.

The 19-year-old native of Clinton, Ontario was taken off the ice on a stretcher after getting his skate tangled with the Minnesota forward Matt Cullen and going hard into the side boards. This past Sunday, it was revealed that O’Reilly would miss “a couple weeks” due to the injury.
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