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Andrighetto Could Return Soon

The forward will not play in Chicago but is on the Avs' two-game trip

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--Coming off of a successful 3-0-1 homestand, the Colorado Avalanche heads east for two games and forward Sven Andrighetto will be on the trip after missing two months with a lower-body injury.

Andrighetto traded in his red, non-contact sweater for a regular practice jersey on Monday at Family Sports Center and took part in his first full team practice since getting hurt on Dec. 31.

He will not play when the Avs visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, and it's too soon to tell if he'll dress on Thursday at the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"He's getting there. He is going to come on the trip with us so he is getting close," said head coach Jared Bednar of Andrighetto. "He is not playing tomorrow…I will reevaluate after tomorrow's game [if he will be in the lineup on Thursday]."

The right wing has been out longer than initially anticipated as his initial diagnosis had him listed as day-to-day.

"Took way longer than we expected at the beginning, but I am on the way back right now so that's positive," said Andrighetto. "Took me a while, but definitely happy to be back on the ice. First day with a normal jersey, so it definitely feels good to be out there with the boys again. It's been a long time."

Video: Sven Andrighetto a full participant in practice

Defensemen Mark Barberio (lower body) and Erik Johnson (upper body) took the ice in non-contact jerseys and skated on their own before the team session. The blueliners have been out since Jan. 25 and Feb. 18, respectively.

"The healthier we are, the more options we have for the lineup," said Nathan MacKinnon. "Whoever is playing well will play, more internal competition, which is always good I think. Not that no one is trying right now or anything, I think we have a really good lineup now and I think adding some more options is good, especially with Andrighetto, who has played really well this season… Hopefully E.J. and Barbs will get healthy, so we will see. We have a lot of very talented players that are hurt right now, and it will be good to get them back."

Rookie forward Vladislav Kamenev was on the ice in a regular sweater for his first full-team practice since breaking his arm on Nov. 16.

The 21-year-old was injured in his debut with the Avalanche after he was acquired by Colorado in the three-team trade with the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators on Nov. 5.

"Kamenev is getting closer, he's not cleared to play though yet," said Bednar. "He is coming on the trip though too because he is getting close. We got to keep getting him in practices and get him skating with the group as much as we possibly can."

Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar before trip to Chicago

HEADING TO THE WINDY CITY

Colorado is facing the Blackhawks for just the second time this season on Tuesday, a team it beat 6-3 at Pepsi Center on Oct. 28.

"Chicago, like every other Central Division team, is really good," said defenseman Patrik Nemeth. "They have some really good players, some veteran players that have won a lot of Cups, so it's going to be a tough match for us."

The Blackhawks are 28-30-8 on the season and has won three of their last four contests at home. The Avalanche visits the United Center twice this month and will wrap up the four-game season series with Chicago at home on March 30.

"It's a fun building for our guys. I think even last year, we played them well in that building," said Bednar. "It was a good place to go play, we were energized. I think it's an easy game to get up for because the building has such a great atmosphere and you know it's the Blackhawks, a little bit of a rival of ours. We haven't played them a lot lately so it should be an easy game for our team to get up for, especially knowing how important the two points are."

Colorado is one point out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference and five points behind the Minnesota Wild for the third seed in the Central Division.

GOALIE UPDATES

Goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier were back in their normal nets at the team's practice facility as the two goalies participating in the session. Both could play on the road trip.

"Varly is going to play tomorrow and then we will make a decision after that," said Bednar. "We sent [Spencer] Martin down [to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League]. Bernier will get activated here today or tomorrow some time."

Martin was with Colorado to back up Varlamov while both Bernier and Andrew Hammond were going through concussion protocol. Hammond again skated on his own before practice began.  

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