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Avs lose penalty kill leader Stuart to hamstring injury

Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

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The slumping Colorado Avalanche got more bad news on Wednesday, as head coach Patrick Roy announced Brad Stuart would be out a “couple weeks” with a hamstring injury.

Stuart, who turns 35 on Thursday, left yesterday’s loss to Vancouver after playing just four shifts in the second period. The veteran blueliner had been averaging close to 20 minutes per game this season and had appeared in all 14 contests prior to getting hurt, leading the team in shorthanded TOI at 3:39 per game.

(Colorado currently has the NHL’s best penalty kill, at 93 percent.)

According to the Denver Post, the Avs won’t make any immediate call-ups to replace Stuart on the active roster, meaning they’ll roll with six defensemen: Tyson Barrie, Nate Guenin, Jan Hejda, Nick Holden, Erik Johnson and Zach Redmond.

The club’s eighth blueliner, Ryan Wilson, is out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.