Avalanche could face San Jose without its top two scorers
Mikko Rantanen questionable with a lower-body injury
The Avalanche could be without two-thirds of its top line Tuesday night when it hosts the San Jose Sharks at the Pepsi Center.
Second-year winger Mikko Rantanen, the Avs’ second-leading scorer, did not participate in the morning skate and will be a game-time decision, coach Jared Bednar said. Top-line center Nathan MacKinnon, who is the NHL’s third-leading scorer, is assured to miss his third consecutive game with a shoulder injury.
MacKinnon and Rantanen have combined for 41 goals and 110 points.
“It’s something every team goes through. Every team in the league is going through injuries to some high-profile guys,” Bednar said. “It is what it is. You got to find a way to win without them. We’re in a spot here, we’re in a race to try to stay in the playoffs, to get to the playoffs, and the division is so tight, the conference is so tight, every point matters. No one is going to feel sorry for ourselves coming into this thing. We got to find other guys to step up. We’ve done it time and time again through injuries this year. Now we need other guys to fill in some spots and produce some goals to win.”
If Rantanen misses his first game of the season, rookie Alex Kerfoot will center the Avs’ top line with regular left winger Gabe Landeskog, and Colin Wilson will replace Rantanen on the right side.
The Sharks will be without veteran center Joe Thornton, who will miss his sixth consecutive game with a knee injury.
Avalanche probable lineup:
Injuries: F Rantanen (lower-body), F MacKinnon (shoulder), F Andrighetto (leg), D Barberio (lower body)