The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

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

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