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Hejduk "Good to Go" Against Jackets

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche was back at Family Sports Center on Monday morning, getting in a practice before heading out to complete its three-game road trip. The team came back to Denver following Saturday’s contest in St. Louis in order to participate in the 2009 Colorado Avalanche Charity Brunch.

To read more about the event, click here.

Hejduk Good to Go
After absorbing a big hit from St. Louis forward B.J. Crombeen and leaving Saturday’s game in the first period, Milan Hejduk will be ready to return to action Tuesday.

Hejduk, who described the injury as “scary” took part in Monday’s practice and skated with his regular linemates, Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski. It was a welcome sight for both his teammates and Avalanche head coach Tony Granato.

“He looks good,” said Granato. “He had a good practice, feels good, ready to go.”

In other news from today's skate, Peter Budaj will make his fifth consecutive start on Tuesday when the Avs tangle with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Back-to Back Contests on Tap
The remainder of the road trip will be taken care of quickly. After the Avs take on Columbus Tuesday, they will face the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday evening.

It will mark the Avalanche’s sixth set of back-to-back games this season. The club holds a 1-4-0 record in the first game of a back-to-back set and a 1-3-1 mark in the second.

Colorado will play only eight back-to-back sets this season, its fewest since the lockout. The Avalanche had 10 back-to-back sets in 2007-08, 11 in 2006-07 and 13 in 2005-06.

Columbus has won all three meetings with the Avalanche so far this season, with Tuesday night’s game being the fourth and final contest between the clubs in 2008-09.

“All of the games we’ve played against them, they’ve got an early lead and really clogged up the neutral zone,” said Hejduk. “We want to do the same thing to them that they did to us.”

Meanwhile, the Avalanche has dropped two decisions to Minnesota at Pepsi Center this season, but earned a 6-5 victory on Dec. 1 in the club’s lone visit to Xcel Energy Center thus far. After Wednesday’s contest, the teams will face off twice more before the regular season concludes.

“They are two similar teams. You can’t just try to cheat and be on the offensive side,” said Ian Laperriere. “You just have to play good defensively and chances will come in both games.”

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