Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar announced after today's morning skate that defenseman Nikita Zadorov will miss time with a broken jaw.
Zadorov suffered the injury early in the second period of Colorado's 9-4 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday. He was hit in the face while killing a penalty and left the contest at the 4:09 mark of the frame.
"He had surgery last night, I guess I'd go week-to-week right now," said Bednar. "Everything went well, so we will just see how things go over the next couple days and then we will try to get him back on the ice."
Zadorov has 65 points (19 goals, 46 assists) in 307 NHL contests, including three (one goal, two assists) in 15 outings this season. He was skating on a defensive pairing with Mark Barberio against Nashville, and Ian Cole is expected to take that spot against the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening.
The Moscow, Russia, native wasn't the only Avs skater who didn't finish the contest against Nashville though. Nathan MacKinnon missed the third period of the outing due to an upper-body injury, but he was held out more for precautionary reasons. MacKinnon did not participate in today's pregame skate but is expected to be available for tonight's matchup with the Blue Jackets.
"We didn't put him out there this morning just because we are going to give him a little rest before tonight," Bednar said of MacKinnon.
Zadorov is joined on the injury report with forwards Gabriel Landeskog (out indefinitely), Mikko Rantanen (week-to-week) and Colin Wilson (day-to-day) as well as goaltender Philipp Grubauer (day-to-day), who are all out with lower-body ailments.
Bednar noted that Grubauer will travel with Colorado on its upcoming five-game road trip but did not have any updates on the injured forwards.
Video: Coach Jared Bednar before Avs vs. Blue Jackets
"They get evaluated daily. They come in, we've been ramping up some of their workouts, just trying to get closer to getting back on the ice, but all three of those guys, none of them are on the ice just yet. So, we will just see how they do on a day-to-day basis," said Bednar. "Eventually it will progress to the point where they start skating on their own or with (skills consultant) Shawn (Allard) and then join our team."
Even without those players on Thursday, the Avs set a franchise record by scoring six goals in a span of eight minutes in the second period, becoming the third NHL team in the last 20 years to score six times in a span of 8:00 or less in a game. Colorado finished the outing with nine tallies, the most by an NHL team this season and the most the Avalanche has scored in a game since a 9-5 win against St. Louis on Dec. 9, 2007.
Five different players (Andre Burakovsky, Joonas Donskoi, Ryan Graves, MacKinnon, Cale Makar) each registered at least three points in the outing, marking only the second time that five different Avalanche skaters had three points in a game. The last time it happened, six different Avs tallied at least three points in a 12-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 5, 1995.
"I really liked last game. I feel like, and I said it when all those guys got hurt, I like our depth," Bednar said. "I think if we play the right way that we can win hockey games with and without those guys that are out of the lineup. Last game, I think we proved it. It started with our work ethic, I thought was really good. Our structure and our commitment to our structure, especially on the offensive side of things last game… It was a good sign, it was a real good sign.
"As a coach I'm always thinking ahead now, and I want to see us repeat that performance again. I don't see a reason why we can't be consistent in what we did last game. To me, again it is that commitment and great decisions with the puck, both on the offensive side of things and trying to exit our zone."
NOTEABLES IN TONIGHT'S GAME
- Joonas Donskoi is set to appear in his 300th NHL game this evening. He recorded his first career hat trick against Nashville and his three points matched a personal best.
Donskoi was selected by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and spent the following five seasons playing in Finland's top professional league (Liiga) before making the jump to North America.
The 6-foot, 190-pound forward played four seasons with the San Jose Sharks and recorded 122 points (45 goals, 77 assists) in 283 contests with the organization before signing with the Avalanche as a free agent this past summer.
- Defenseman Erik Johnson has 199 points (58 goals, 141 assists) with the Avalanche, one shy of becoming the sixth Colorado blueliner to reach 200 points (Tyson Barrie, JohnMichael Liles, Sandis Ozolinsh, Adam Foote and Rob Blake). Johnson leads all Avalanche players with 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in 31 career contests against the Blue Jackets.
- Goaltender Pavel Francouz will get the start for the second consecutive game, the first time in his NHL career that he has started in backto-back contests.