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Avs' Mueller to miss home-and-home vs. Blackhawks

by Rick Sadowski
DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche left wing Peter Mueller, who is listed as day-to-day with a head injury, will miss at least two more games, a home-and-home series with the Chicago Blackhawks that begins tonight at the Pepsi Center.

The teams meet again Saturday at the United Center.

Mueller, who missed all last season to recover from a concussion, didn't take part in the pregame skate this morning after practicing Wednesday. He played in the first three games this year without collecting a point and has been scratched the past three games.

"He's not feeling well," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "After practice (on Wednesday) he notified us he wasn't feeling well. So he won't be available to us the next two games. We'll just see how he presents after that. When we get back from our game in Chicago, we'll see how he is the next day."

Mueller appeared to have made some progress on Wednesday when he took part in the full practice, alternating with Kevin Porter on the fourth line with Cody McLeod, Jay McClement and TJ Galiardi.

"Feeling great," he said after the practice. "Just getting everything back in the loop. Waiting for my time to come."

Mueller suffered two concussions in a five-month span, the first in an April 4, 2010 game against San Jose on a hit by Rob Blake. He missed the final four games of the 2009-10 season and all six first-round playoff games against the Sharks. He suffered another concussion when he was hit in the head by an errant stick in a Sept. 22, 2010 preseason game against Los Angeles.

The Avalanche are coming off a sweep of a five-game road trip after opening the season with a 3-0 home loss to Detroit.

The Blackhawks have gone 3-0-1 since opening the season with a 2-1 loss in Dallas. Right wing Marian Hossa returned to the lineup for Tuesday's road game against Phoenix after missing one game with an upper-body injury and scored a goal in a 5-2 win over the Coyotes.

Probable lineups for tonight:

Andrew Brunette - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Sharp
Daniel Carcillo - Patrick Kane - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Viktor Stalberg - Marcus Kruger - Jamal Mayers

Duncan Keith - Nick Leddy
Brent Seabrook - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Steve Montador - Sean O'Donnell

Corey Crawford is expected to start in goal with Ray Emery serving as backup.

David Jones - Paul Stastny - Chuck Kobasew
Joakim Lindstrom - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - TJ Galiardi

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Shane O'Brien - Kyle Quincey
Ryan Wilson - Ryan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov is expected to start in goal with Jean-Sebastien Giguere serving as backup.

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