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Rink Notes: Cumiskey Will Return Tuesday

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche ended Anaheim’s 11-game home win streak on Wednesday and then snapped St. Louis’ five-game winning streak with a victory at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The next task on the table for Colorado is to take on the Vancouver Canucks – the team currently leading the Northwest Division by two points over the Avs.

The Avs and Canucks will face off for the fifth time this season on Tuesday night at Pepsi Center.

Vancouver has won three of its last four games and is finally coming up on the conclusion of a monster road trip. Canucks fans haven’t seen their team play in Vancouver since Jan. 27 due to a 14-game road swing that spanned both sides of the Olympic break. Vancouver has hung tough throughout the trip, posting a 7-5-0 record through the first 12 games. After playing in Denver tomorrow, the Canucks will finish up the trip with a game Wednesday in Phoenix on Wednesday before finally heading home.

“It’s an important game, there’s no question,” said Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco. “It’s a chance for us again to move into a tie at the top of our division, which is important. It should be a game with lot of intensity and should be an easy game for our players to get up for.”
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The head coach also confirmed that defenseman Kyle Cumiskey will return to the lineup on Tuesday. Cumiskey suffered a head injury on Feb. 12 against Phoenix and has missed the past five games. His return comes at a good time, as defenseman Ruslan Salei left Saturday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues with a torso injury.

“He’s going to be further evaluated today. I don’t have a timetable on that one yet,” Sacco said of Salei. “We’ll know more hopefully tomorrow.”

Practice Notes
Veteran forward Darcy Tucker wasn’t feeling well and missed today’s practice. Sacco said he would see how Tucker presented in the morning before making any lineup decisions for the Vancouver game.

Forward David Koci – out with a hand injury – skated on his own before practice wearing an orange non-contact jersey.

Sacco also addressed the topic of David Jones’ injury and a possible return this season by the young forward. Jones has been sidelined since Nov. 28 due to a knee injury.

“There’s no timetable right now,” said Sacco. “Is there hope? You’re always holding out hope for him. He’s making progress, he’s working hard in the weight room and he’s doing what he needs to do as far as rehab goes. It’s just a matter of time now.”

Stewart Reacts
On Monday, the NHL announced that Avalanche forward Chris Stewart had been named the league’s First Star of the Week after posting nine points (5g/4a) in four games last week.

After Monday’s practice, Stewart talked about the honor.

“I didn’t really know what to think. I thought at first that some of the other teams maybe played only two games last week,” joked Stewart. “It’s a confidence boost, but you have to put personal goals aside. It was a nice little reward, a pat on your back for your hard work, but at the end of the day we have a team-first attitude here.”
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