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Varlamov Sidelined Through All-Star Break

Spencer Martin recalled from San Antonio

by Nicole Morris / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--The Colorado Avalanche announced today that goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be out of the lineup until after the All-Star break.

Concern for the Russian netminder's complete recovery from a nagging groin injury has lead to him being shut down by head coach Jared Bednar. 

"This is no longer a day-to-day thing, it has happened too much," Bednar said of Varlamov's struggles to fully recover. "It has obviously affected his ability to get in a rhythm and play well for us. Staying healthy, I'm sure has a large part to do with that."

Varlamov did not practice today and has previously missed a total of nine contests this season due to the injury.

Video: Coach Jared Bednar before California trip

"Varly's going to stay back off the road trip," said Bednar. "He's going to see the doctors again and talk to the doctors and our trainer. We are going to shut him down until after the All-Star break. We are going to look at other treatment options and see what we need to do to get him healthy."

Calvin Pickard will get the start between the pipes for Colorado on Thursday night versus the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. Thursday's game will be Pickard's 20th start of the season. He has seen action in 21 matches and has registered a 3.06 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage in that time.

With Varlamov staying back in Denver, the Avs recalled Spencer Martin from their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. This is the fourth time Martin has been called up from the Rampage to back up Pickard.

The Avalanche is now back to the drawing board after a tough 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Video: Calvin Pickard on seeing more playing time 

"We want to play our game, no matter what the score is," Colorado netminder Calvin Pickard said. "Yesterday, we created a lot of chances. We were really good in the neutral zone coming up with speed. It was fun to watch, a lot of nice goals. We just want to do that for 60 minutes, and I'm sure we will get some results."

With the offense clicking the Avs are looking to shore up the defense ahead of Thursday's game. 

"I think we had a good practice today, we were working D-zone, more O-zone too. I think we can do a better job in the D-zone, because if we let in five goals and an empty-netter its hard to win games," Mikko Rantanen said. "We have to help Varly and Picks in the net. 

"We just have to keep working and try to simplify our game, just put the pucks to the net and be sharp in the D-zone. That's the key."

Video: Mikko Rantanen after the Avalanche's practice

Colorado competed against Anaheim last Thursday, where it fell 4-1 at home. The team will get a second chance to redeem itself with just a week separating the first two outings of the three-game season series.

"Its kind of fresh in our minds. We played them not too long ago, we know what to expect. They play a hard-fought game, they throw a lot of pucks to the net and they get a lot of traffic there," Pickard said of the Ducks. "They have some really good skill up front and we play them well. It's going to be a good test for us and a good measuring stick to see how we are going to do."

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