The Colorado Avalanche announced Sunday that star forwards Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon will miss at least another two games with injury. They won’t travel with the team as they hit the road for a pair of difficult divisional battles, including Monday’s against the Nashville Predators and Tuesday’s against the St. Louis Blues.
Their ongoing absence is tough for the Avalanche to stomach as the season winds down to its final games and they battle the Minnesota Wild for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Without the service of Duchene or MacKinnon, the Avalanche were felled 4-0 by the Wild on Saturday, dealing what may have been the death blow to their playoff hopes. With that loss they now sit five points back of the Wild with one game in hand and just seven games left in the season.
Both forwards are suffering from knee injuries. Duchene, the team’s leading scorer, was injured in a March 16 game against the Vancouver Canucks. MacKinnon, who ranks second in scoring, was injured in the next game.
Defenseman Eric Gelinas was injured in the same game as MacKinnon and remains out as well.
UPDATE: Nathan MacKinnon & Matt Duchene to miss the next 2 games.
Andrew Agozzino & Nikita Zadorov have been recalled from @sarampage.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 27, 2016
The Avalanche have called up forward Andrew Agozzino and defenseman Nikita Zadorov on Sunday. 2015 1st round draft pick Mikko Rantanen was reassigned to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL following Saturday’s game. He is not expected to play at the NHL level again this season.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.