PICKARD PICKS UP ANOTHER START
columbus, ohio» Avalanche backup goalie Calvin Pickard earned his second consecutive start Saturday after backstopping Thursday’s 3-0 win against the visiting New Jersey Devils.
Against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena, Pickard made his seventh appearance of the season but just his second start. Semyon Varlamov is scheduled to return to the net Monday as the Avs conclude their two-game trip at Winnipeg, Pickard’s hometown.
Pickard is bound to return to the American Hockey League when Reto Berra sufficiently recovers from an ankle injury. But Berra is not on this trip, thus Pickard will return to his native Manitoba as an NHLer.
During his first stint of the season with the Avs in November, Pickard was sent back to San Antonio the night Colorado flew from Washington to Winnipeg, where Varlamov returned after missing five games with a groin injury.
Footnotes. Avalanche winger Matt Duchene celebrated his 25th birthday Saturday. ... Colorado’s scratches were forward Mikhail Grigorenko and defensemen Nate Guenin and Andrew Bodnarchuk. Bodnarchuk was claimed off waivers from Columbus on Jan. 5. He played four consecutive games for Colorado, but Saturday was the second straight game he was scratched. ... The game featured Russian goalies serving as backups on the bench. Varlamov sat on Colorado’s bench and countryman Sergei Bobrovsky backed up Finnish rookie Joonas Korpisalo. ... Injured defensemen Erik Johnson (knee) and Brad Stuart (back) aren’t on this trip. ... Colorado enters Monday’s game 9-3-1 against the Central Division. Mike Chambers, The