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Avalanche Vs. Oilers: Shorthanded Colorado Heads Into Edmonton

The Colorado Avalanche have been pretty lucky with injuries this season (all apologies to Peter Mueller and Matt Duchene, who have both missed substantial time), but their luck appears to be turning at precisely the wrong time.

The wounded include:

T.J. Galiardi will likely miss at least a week with a leg injury.

Peter Mueller has a lingering torso injury (but should play in the next couple of games).

Jean-Sebastien Giguere tweaked his groin in the first period against Vancouver.

Duchene will miss Friday's game against the Edmonton Oilers, but is a possibility to return against Winnipeg on Sunday according to the Denver Post.

For reinforcements, Colorado has called up winger Mark Olver and goalie Cedrick Desjardins from AHL Lake Erie. Olver will get the start against the Oilers while Desjardins will backup Semyon Varlamov in net. The Avalanche paid a heavy price for the young Russian goaltender this offseason, and now is Varlamov's time to take back the starting job. After a spectacular game against Vancouver (and another against St. Louis the previous game), Varlamov will have several starts to put together consistent performances and keep the injured Avalanche in the playoff hunt.

The Oilers can sympathize with injuries to key players. Calder Trophy favorite and 2011 first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed an entire month due to a shoulder injury, then reaggravated the injury just two games into his return. Forwards Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle have also missed multiple games this season due to various injuries. When healthy, Edmonton's core is one of the most dangerous in the league and can score on anyone. They represent a very tough matchup for Colorado and have already beat the Avalanche three of their four meetings this season.

Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. MDT

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Oilers blog Copper N' Blue