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Erik Johnson of Avalanche out 6-8 weeks

No. 1 pick in 2006 NHL Draft breaks leg against Stars

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson sustained a broken fibula in their 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center on Saturday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Johnson was injured in the second period, and it's a damaging blow for the Avalanche, who lost all five games (0-4-1) of their homestand and have the fewest points (19) in the NHL.

Johnson, who has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists), was averaging 22:21 of ice time and leads Colorado in assists and blocked shots (59). He and Tyson Barrie are tied for the Avalanche scoring lead among defensemen. Coach Jared Bednar has been using Johnson and Fedor Tyutin as his top pair, and Tyutin didn't play Saturday because of a lower-body injury.

"Injuries are not an excuse, but it helps to have some of those guys in the lineup," Bednar said. "You're missing a pair on [defense] and ... we have to stick with it and get through it. It's the only way to get out of this."

Johnson, 28, is in the first year of a seven-year, $42 million contract extension he signed in September 2015. The No. 1 pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, he played for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey 2016.


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