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Landeskog could return for Avalanche against Maple Leafs

Forward has missed 15 games with lower-body injury

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Gabriel Landeskog could play for the Colorado Avalanche against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, TVAS, ALT, NHL.TV).

The forward has missed the past 15 games with a lower-body injury sustained Oct. 26. He practiced in a no-contact jersey Monday.

"I haven't put a timetable on his return yet," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "He's kind of where we were with Mikko [Rantanen] last week. We want to get him in some practices, get him working with the guys, and then we'll make a decision on which day we want him (to play). In communication with him, we'll make a decision together on which day he's going to play."

The Avalanche won't practice Tuesday before leaving for Toronto to start a three-game road trip. They play at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and at the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Landeskog has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 games. He set NHL career highs last season for goals (34), assists (41) and points (75) in 73 games. He had eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Video: COL@TBL: Landeskog deflects home MacKinnon's shot

Rantanen, who returned Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks following a 16-game absence because of a lower-body injury, didn't practice Monday, but Bednar said he expects Rantanen to play against the Maple Leafs.

"It's a maintenance day," Bednar said. "We're putting him in the best possible situation to succeed, so if he needs a little time before we go to Toronto, then we'll give it to him. We'll just keep talking to him and seeing how he's feeling and play it from there."

Rantanen had a goal and three assists in 10:43 against the Blackhawks and didn't play in the third period of the 7-3 victory.

"He tweaked his leg a little bit a couple of times and started to get a little tired, so I didn't see a reason to bring him out for the third in a 7-2 game," Bednar said Saturday. "He'll be ready to go."

Forward Matt Calvert, who has missed six games with a concussion sustained Nov. 16, said he hopes to play against Toronto. He practiced with contact Monday for the first time since he was injured when he was hit in the head by a shot by Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson. The shot also left him with a cut behind his ear that needed six stitches to close.

"You have to go through protocol and you have to have a bunch of good days in a row," Calvert said. "This was my first test at practice. We have a travel day tomorrow, so as long as the response is good, I'm hoping to be in the lineup as soon as possible."

Forward Nazem Kadri left practice after being hit in the face with a stick but should be available to play at Toronto.

Forward Andre Burakovsky (upper body) and defenseman Erik Johnson (lower body) didn't practice. Bednar said Burakovsky might join the team at some point during the road trip but said Johnson won't and is week to week. Forward Colin Wilson is scheduled to have surgery to repair a lower-body injury and will be out long term.

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