DENVER, Colo. – The Colorado Avalanche will be without top scorer Nathan MacKinnon for at least a week after he suffered a lower body injury.
MacKinnon was hurt during the second period in Los Angeles against the Kings on Monday. It's the latest blow to an injury-plagued Avalanche team that's trying to catch St. Louis for the top seed in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche are missing six other players. They will have defenseman Cale Makar back in the lineup when they face the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Makar has been out the last five games with an upper body injury. He's second among rookies with 47 points.
The speedy MacKinnon will be hard to replace as the center ranks among the league's top 10 in points (93), goals (35) and assists (58) this season. He has a career-high 29 multi-point contests this season, the most by an Avalanche player since Peter Forsberg had the same number in 2002-03.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar said MacKinnon will miss “one to two weeks.” Bednar plans to insert J.T. Compher into the center spot on the top line versus the Rangers.
Bednar is running thin on options these days. The team already is without forwards Matt Calvert, Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, Colin Wilson and Mikko Rantanen. Also sidelined is goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
Asked if he's ever experienced this many injuries all at once, Bednar responded: “Simple answer is no. ... The sheer number of guys we have out and guys that play key roles for us — it's getting to be a lot."