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Avs Down Two Players Heading Into Back Half of Homestand

Matt Calvert and Philipp Grubauer were hurt in the Stadium Series game

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche will be without two of its players for the near future after both sustained injuries over the weekend at the Stadium Series outdoor game.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer left 2:33 into the third period of Saturday's outing against the Los Angeles Kings at the U.S. Air Force Academy with a lower-body injury, and head coach Jared Bednar revealed postgame that Matt Calvert was also hurt in the contest.

Bednar did not have a timeline for the severity of Grubauer's injury following today's morning skate at Pepsi Center, but the Avs coach noted that Calvert will be out for the next several weeks.

"I'm not sure what happened," Bednar said of Calvert when asked how the injury occurred. "He just felt pain in his lower body, and it kind of got worse and worse and so he's got whatever you call it, an oblique strain. So that's what's keeping him out."

Calvert's last shift on the Falcon Stadium ice came with less than nine minutes remaining in the third period.

Grubauer was hurt after a collision with Colorado's Ian Cole in front of the net. He tried to stay on the ice and skate through the pain immediately following the accident, but he eventually left the playing surface and backup Pavel Francouz entered the game, making his outdoor game debut.

Bednar said Grubauer's injury is still being assessed.

"He's still getting evaluated, and he's still going through some testing in the training room and whatnot," Bednar said. "I don't know, I'll have a better answer probably later in the week. Right now he's day-to-day and could miss some time."

Video: Bednar gives health updates on Grubauer and Calvert

Francouz will start this evening's game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, a club that he had success against earlier this season.

He made his second career NHL start in Tampa on Oct. 19 and made 44 saves on 46 shots, both career highs, and the Avalanche won 6-2.

Hunter Miska will be Francouz's backup tonight after being recalled from the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles on Sunday.

The reason that Miska is the one to receive the call-up from the Eagles is two-fold: the Avs' minor-league affiliate is dealing with some injuries to the other netminders at the current moment and Miska has earned the opportunity. This year, he's posted a 13-5-2 record, 2.62 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 22 games with the Eagles and has a 1.62 goal-against average, .947 save percentage and a 2-1-0 record in three ECHL contests with the Utah Grizzlies.

"I mean from their coaching staff and from our guys going in to watch him, he's been real good, and that's what earned him the contract and now giving him this opportunity, he's given [the Eagles] the chance to win every night," Bednar said. "They're playing some real good hockey right now, and they're getting goaltending right now, so that is part of it."

Miska, who appeared one career game while a member of the Arizona Coyotes last season, signed his NHL contract with the Avs last Monday after playing the start of the campaign on an AHL-only deal.

"It's an exciting time for me. I didn't expect this coming into the season, but obviously I had it in my mind that this was my main goal, to get back to an NHL contract," Miska told earlier today. "I was pretty fired up at the beginning of the season to work hard and earn my contract back. I think I've done a pretty good job this year, obviously with the help of my team down in Northern Colorado. Obviously they have been playing really well in front of me and helping me get to this spot. It's a pretty cool opportunity for me, and I'm excited for it."

Miska will be joined on the Avs bench this evening with one of the Eagles' top players this season, as T.J. Tynan returns to NHL action after being recalled on Friday.

Video: T.J. Tynan before the Avs play Tampa Bay

Tynan, who will begin the night on a line with Tyson Jost and Vladislav Kamenev, has played in 17 career NHL games, 14 of which were consecutive this season with the Avalanche from Nov. 7-Dec. 7.

"It was a great experience, it was a great month," Tynan said of his last call-up in Denver. "We were winning a lot. Obviously it's a great room in here, great group of guys, the staff, everyone has been amazing, especially to me. It's been a lot of fun."

Tynan leads the Eagles in scoring with 40 points (four goals, 34 assists) in 34 games and represented the club at the AHL All-Star Classic last month. He did not play in the Stadium Series contest on Saturday.

Tonight's matchup with Tampa is the fourth of a five-game homestand for the Avalanche, which has dropped its past two outings. The Lightning is making its one and only stop at Pepsi Center this season and has won 10 straight games, tied for the longest such streak in franchise history and tied for the longest in the league this season.

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