The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

BUF­FALO AT COLORADO Spot­light on Ryan O’Reilly:

8 p.m. Wed­nes­day, ALT; 950 AM The heady, hard­work­ing for­mer Colorado for­ward makes his first re­turn to Den­ver since the sum­mer trade that sent him and Jamie McGinn to the Sabres for a pack­age that in­cluded cur­rent Avs Mikhail Grig­orenko and Nikita Zadorov. O’Reilly’s con­trac­tual mil­i­tancy led the Avs to make the deal, and as ag­gra­vat­ing as his stand was to Colorado fans, the front of­fice and even his team­mates, he was proved “right” in one cru­cial fash­ion in an “it’s a busi­ness” league: The Sabres pretty much gave him what he wanted, sign­ing him to a seven-year, $52.5 mil­lion ex­ten­sion. He’s mak­ing $6 mil­lion in 2015-16, which is what Matt Duch­ene will get this sea­son and the next two.


O’Reilly is on pace to crack 30 goals for the first time in his ca­reer. … Buf­falo has won two con­sec­u­tive games, beat­ing Wash­ing­ton and Ari­zona. … Jack Eichel, the for­mer Bos­ton Univer­sity stand­out who was the No. 2 over­all pick in 2015 be­hind Con­nor McDavid, has had an im­pres­sive rookie sea­son and is among the top hand­ful of can­di­dates for the Calder Tro­phy in the wake of McDavid suf­fer­ing a frac­tured col­lar­bone Nov. 3.

De­fense­man Erik John­son, out since Jan. 4, skated Tues­day with the healthy scratches from the night be­fore, and Avalanche coach Pa­trick Roy said John­son is on track to re­turn to the lineup soon, per­haps this week­end. … Roy said Grig­orenko, a healthy scratch the past three games, will play against the Sabres. … Se­myon Var­lamov will get the start in the Colorado net.


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