Suddenly shorthanded Avs look to even series

How quickly the tables can turn in the NHL playoffs. Colorado was arguably the hottest team in the Stanley Cup playoffs after back-to-back 7-1 wins to eliminate Arizona in first round of the playoffs. And then Saturday night happened.

Not only did the Avalanche lose the opening game of the teams’ Western Conference semifinals series 5-3, but Colorado also lost goalie Philipp Grubauer to a groin/leg injury and defenseman Erik Johnson to injuries of his own.

Grubauer is out of Game 2 tonight (7:45 p.m., NBCSN), while Johnson is listed as doubtful. Forward Matt Calvert who didn’t play Saturday is considered day-to-day.

“These guys are all getting evaluated at some point (Sunday) so I may have more information (Monday). But Grubauer won’t be available for (Monday) and I’m not expecting Erik Johnson, either, but we’ll see.”

Avs coach Jared Bednar said after an optional practice Sunday in Edmonton.

Pavel Francouz will get the start in net for Colorado, while the Avs still are determining which defenseman to replace Johnson with.

Michael Hutchinson, who was acquired at the trade deadline, will be the Avs’ backup goalie. Colorado also is in the process of adding Hunter Miska to the bubble as a third-string goalie.

  • Colorado will have a morning skate before tonight’s Game 2. This usually is a normal practice on game days, but so far all nine of the Avs’ playoff games have been early so they haven’t had morning skates.
  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote about how Nathan MacKinnon might be the best hockey player on the planet, but he can’t win this series against the Stars all on his own.
  • Avalanche-Stars results and schedule
Game 1Dallas 5, Colorado 3Box score
Game 2Dallas 5, Colorado 2Box score
Game 3Colorado 6, Dallas 4Box score
Game 4Dallas 5, Colorado 4Box score
Game 5Colorado 6, Dallas 3Box score
Game 6Colorado 4, Dallas 1Box score
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
DateTime (MT)Home teamTV
Fri., Sept. 42 p.m.ColoradoUSA
All games played at Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta

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