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Avalanche's Parenteau out six weeks with knee injury

by Rick Sadowski

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Colorado Avalanche will have to make do without right wing PA Parenteau for about six weeks. Parenteau sustained a second-degree MCL sprain in his left knee Sunday in the Avalanche's 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

"It's part of the season," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said after practice Monday. "We've been pretty lucky, I think, so far. We haven't been hit too much by injuries. From my standpoint, I think we've been more lucky than anything else. It's part of a season and it give opportunities for others to show us what they have."

Parenteau was injured at 16:20 of the second period when he and Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba clipped skates at center ice. Parenteau twisted his knee while falling and needed help into the trainer's room.

Parenteau, 30, underwent an MRI on Monday morning and Dr. Andrew Parker, the team's orthopedic specialist, relayed the results to Roy. Parenteau, who had no goals and six assists in the past 11 games, has nine goals and 15 assists in 38 games this season.

"It was kind of a fluke injury," center Paul Stastny said of his linemate. "He's one of those guys who hasn't been hurt a lot in his career. When one person goes down, you juggle the lines and have other guys step up. We can't hang our heads or feel bad for ourselves. We just have to keep going."

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon will replace Parenteau on the line with Stastny and left wing Gabriel Landeskog starting Tuesday when the Avalanche play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center.

"I think we're all pretty comfortable with each other," said MacKinnon, who began the season as the Avalanche's third-line center but has moved around because of injuries. He was at right wing with left wing Ryan O'Reilly and center Matt Duchene when Parenteau was injured. Jamie McGinn will take MacKinnon's spot on that line.

"We're used to each other's tendencies, so it should go pretty smooth," said MacKinnon, who has nine goals and 13 assists. "We want to play a puck-possession game and I think we're going to do a pretty good job. Playing right wing is nothing different for me. It's not a big deal switching positions."

MacKinnon will be the third right wing Stastny has skated with since the season started. Alex Tanguay played the first 13 games with Stastny and was replaced by McGinn for a while when Tanguay sustained knee and hip injuries in a Nov. 2 game against the Montreal Canadiens. Tanguay hasn't played since but is expected to resume skating soon.

"We started clicking and then (Tanguay) got hurt," said Stastny, who missed two games in late November because of back spasms. "That was tough and then (Duchene) got hurt and missed (three) games and the lines got switched up again. I think we'll be fine. We'll find a way to get through it and start getting goals again and get our swagger back.

"Me and [MacKinnon] and [Landeskog] played together for a couple games. I think we'll do a good job. It's a little frustrating, but that's what happens in an 82-game season. Guys are always going to get hurt, whether it's long term or short term. You have to find ways to get through it and not use anything as an excuse."

Left wing Cody McLeod will move from the fourth line to the third unit with center John Mitchell and right wing Maxime Talbot. Brad Malone, a healthy scratch for the past 14 games, will take McLeod's position with center Marc-Andre Cliche and right wing Patrick Bordeleau.

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