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Avs forward Jonathan Drouin out with a lower-body injury for the playoff series against Winnipeg

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche will be without forward Jonathan Drouin for their first-round playoff series against Winnipeg due to a lower-body injury.

Drouin was injured when he tripped in the second period against Edmonton on Thursday. He skated away and never came back.

The Avalanche practiced Saturday morning before heading to Winnipeg. Game 1 of the series is Sunday.

The 29-year-old Drouin had a career season with 56 points (19 goals, 37 assists) after signing with Colorado as a free agent this summer.

Drouin was generally on the same page as Mikko Rantanen and his good friend Nathan MacKinnon, who had a career-best 140 points this season.

“Very unfortunate. I really feel sorry for him,” MacKinnon said. “I know he’s crushed now. He has been working on this all season. We cannot replace him.

“Obviously it sucks for the team, but for him as a person it’s just so sad. Hopefully we get him back as soon as possible.”

Drouin was Tampa Bay’s third overall pick in 2013 and played in 564 regular season games, scoring 96 goals.

“That’s a tough call for us,” forward Zach Parise said. “He had a great season. He’s had really good chemistry with those guys at 5-on-5 and on the power play. We have to catch up as a group.”

Parise was aligned with MacKinnon and Rantanen for Saturday’s training. Coach Jared Bednar declined to confirm whether the lines on the ice were an indication of what the lineup might be against the Jets.

“I’m not going to give you that,” Bednar said.

Defenseman Devon Toews missed practice to be with his wife, who gave birth to a baby boy on Friday. The family brought the baby home from the hospital, but he was expected to join the team for the flight.

Fellow defenseman Samuel Girard skated with the team as he went through concussion protocol. Bednar said he doesn’t have an answer yet if Girard would play Sunday.

Girard left in the first period of last Saturday’s 7-0 loss to Winnipeg after colliding with teammate Ross Colton.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog joined the team on the ice and strolled around chatting with teammates. Bednar recently said that Landesog was not yet close to being a full participant in practice. The 31-year-old Landeskog underwent cartilage replacement surgery on his right knee last May and will miss a second straight season.

Colorado called up defenseman Brad Hunt, forward Chris Wagner and goaltender Arvid Holm from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl