The Avalanche have lost two-thirds of their fourth line and two of their top penalty killers in less than a week.
Center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
will be out for an undetermined period with a lower-body injury, coach Jared Bednar
said Friday before the team left for Minnesota and games Saturday and Sunday against the Wild, who will visit Ball Arena for games Tuesday and Thursday.
Bellemare has joined Matt Calvert
and goalie Pavel Francouz
on the injury list after getting hurt Thursday with 3:50 to play in the first period in the Avalanche’s 3-0 win against San Jose. Sharks forward Ryan Donato
lost an edge and fell into Bellemare, who couldn’t put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice.
Here’s the NHL.com RECAP
of Thursday’s win against the Sharks.
“He’s going to miss some time,” Bednar said. “I don’t have a timeframe exactly. We’ll see how he progresses, (see) what he’s able to do off the ice.”
Bellemare was centering a line with left wing Tyson Jost
and right wing Kiefer Sherwood
, who replaced Calvert on Tuesday. Calvert has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury and is out indefinitely.
Bednar said he wasn’t sure of defenseman Devon Toews’
status. Toews left for the locker room after blocking a shot with his foot in the third period but was able to return.
The Avalanche added forwards Shane Bowers
and Logan O’Connor,
and defenseman Jacob MacDonald
to the taxi squad after recalling them from the AHL Eagles.
“Whenever we go on the road, we’re going to load up that taxi squad so we have enough guys in case something happens on the road with injuries,” Bednar said.
The taxi squad also includes defenseman Greg Pateryn
, forward Logan O'Connor
and goalie Adam Werner.
Minnesota native Hunter Miska
is expected to start one of the games in St. Paul since Philipp Grubauer
already has started seven of the first eight games with Francouz sidelined with a lower-body injury.
“It’d be a pretty cool opportunity for me to go back home and hopefully play in front of my hometown,” Miska said. “It’d be a pretty sweet opportunity. I expect to play one of the games; I’m not sure which one I’m going to be playing.”
Miska stopped 23 of 26 shots in the Avalanche’s 4-2 loss in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, his first NHL start.
Grubauer, who made 21 saves Thursday, has a 5-2-0 record with two shutouts, a 1.86 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.