The good news for the Avalanche is that center Nathan MacKinnon
is expected to play Saturday against Columbus at the Pepsi Center after being held out of the third period against Nashville with an upper-body injury.
The discouraging news is that defenseman Nikita Zadorov
will be out indefinitely with a facial injury after getting hit with a puck early in the second period of the Avalanche’s 9-4 rout of the Predators.
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“He got hit in the face with that shot and he’s gone to the doctor today,” coach Jared Bednar
said Friday following an optional practice. “I’d say he’s out indefinitely. I don’t have all the details on his injury just yet.”
Zadorov was killing a penalty when a puck shot by Predators forward Ryan Johansen
hit him. He remained down on the ice for a moment as play was allowed to continue but eventually was able to skate to the bench on his own and left the game at the 4:33 mark.
The 6-feet-6 Zadorov has a goal, two assists and 37 penalty minutes in 15 games this season with a team-high 28 hits.
Bednar said the Avalanche will recall a player from the Colorado Eagles before they leave for a five-game road trip that begins Tuesday in Winnipeg.
They have six healthy defensemen for Saturday, including Ian Cole
, who was scratched Thursday.
MacKinnon, who had a goal and three assists against Nashville, took a maintenance day Thursday after leaving with 2 1-2 minutes left in the second period against Nashville. He's seventh among NHL scorers with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 15 games.
“I think he’s going to be fine,” Bednar said. “I expect him to play (Saturday). Maintenance day today with a lot of our guys.”
The Avalanche were already without goalie Philipp Grubauer
and forwards Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog
and Colin Wilson
, each with a lower-body injury.
“It’s not easy, but teams will go through it,” Bednar said of the injuries. “You can’t worry too much about it as coaches; you have to move on to the next game. We have lots of guys that want lots of opportunities, and they’re getting it now. With opportunity comes responsibility. We have to keep carving out wins. It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup, no one’s going to feel sorry for us.”
The NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association, in conjunction with Live Nation Sweden, announced Friday that the Avalanche, Columbus, Nashville and Boston will participate in the 2020 NHL Global Series.
Boston and Nashville will open their 2020-21 season against each other in Prague, Czech Republic, at O2 Arena in October. Later in the fall, the Avalanche and Columbus will play two regular-season games at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
The Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Germany and Switzerland, respectively, and each will play an exhibition match as part of the 2020 NHL Global Series Challenge.
Game dates, broadcast and ticket information will be announced later.