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Avs' Anderson out indefinitely with knee injury

by Rick Sadowski
The encouraging news for the Colorado Avalanche is that goaltender Craig Anderson will need treatment for his injured right knee but won't require surgery.

Still, the Avalanche announced Wednesday that Anderson would be placed on injured reserve retroactive to Tuesday and will be sidelined indefinitely.

The team wouldn't reveal the specific nature of the injury.

"It's going to require some treatment and rehab, and we hope to have him back as soon as possible," coach Joe Sacco told the Denver Post after the team practiced at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, where the Avalanche will play the Flames on Thursday night.

Peter Budaj will make his second start in a row in goal. Veteran John Grahame, who was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League, will be his backup.

"I will probably play Peter the majority of the games, but I will see how the schedule plays out, like I always do, and see how Peter's rest is and make sure he's feeling fresh," Sacco said.

Anderson was re-examined in Denver on Wednesday after hurting his knee Tuesday night in warm-ups at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver before Colorado's 4-3 overtime loss to the Canucks.

Anderson grimaced in pain and held his knee after injuring it during a drill in which he moved from side to side while attempting to stop close-in shots from teammates. He needed help getting off the ice and wasn't able to put any weight on his right leg while being escorted to the trainer's room.

Budaj was scheduled to start against the Canucks, but he didn't have a backup because Anderson wasn't able to return to the bench.

Budaj, 28, has gone 1-0-1 this season with a 3.84 goals-against average and .864 save percentage. He played in a career-low 15 games last year and finished with a 5-5-2 mark, one shutout, a 2.64 average and .917 save percentage.

Budaj started four games in a row Dec. 3-9 last season after Anderson suffered a neck injury and posted a 2-2-0 record with one shutout.

Anderson has a 3-4-0 record this season with a 3.15 GAA and .907 save percentage. He played a huge role a year ago when the Avalanche improved by 26 points in the standings, finished second in the Northwest Division and took the San Jose Sharks to six games in the first round of the playoffs.

Anderson, who signed a two-year, $3.625 million contract as a free agent on July 1, 2009, posted a 38-25-7 record with seven shutouts, a 2.64 GAA and .917 save percentage. He set franchise records for games and starts (71 each), minutes (4,235), shots faced (2,233) and saves (2,047).

Grahame, 35, was born in Denver. His parents are former NHL goalie and current University of Denver senior associate athletic director Ron Grahame and Charlotte Grahame, the Avalanche's vice president of hockey administration.

The Avalanche signed John Grahame as a free agent on March 2, 2010. He went 4-7-3 with a 3.44 average in 14 games with Lake Erie last season and has a 2-2 record this year with a 2.46 average and .910 save percentage.

Grahame has played in 224 NHL games with Boston, Tampa Bay and Carolina. He owns a 97-86-18 career record with 12 shutouts and a 2.79 average. He was a member of the Lightning's Stanley Cup championship team in 2004 and the U.S. Olympic team in 2006.
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