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Avalanche/Predators Notebook

Forsberg Plays Again; Cameron Gaunce Makes NHL Debut

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 10:40 PM / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to ColoradoAvalanche.com
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Avalanche\/Predators Notebook
Forsberg Plays Again
Peter Forsberg was in Colorado’s lineup again Saturday against the Nashville Predators, meaning the first two games of his NHL comeback took place during a back-to-back set.

Forsberg began the game skating on a line with Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk, the same two players he played with on Friday evening. However, by the midpoint of the middle frame, Paul Stastny had taken over the center responsibilities on that line and stayed there for the remainder of the contest.

Forsberg totaled 17:32 of ice time, nearly identical to the 17:38 he played in Friday’s game. Colorado had minimal power-play time for the second consecutive outing, but Forsberg still recorded 2:39 of ice time during the Avs’ two chances with the man advantage. The Swedish forward was also whistled for two penalties of his own in the second period. He received two minutes for interference at 13:09 and then took a minor for hooking at 19:16. Colorado killed off both of Forsberg’s penalties.

It sometimes gets lost when discussing the history of Forsberg’s career, but the forward actually spent part of one season playing with the Predators. He appeared in 17 regular season games and five playoff contests while wearing Predators uniform in 2006-07 after being acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Porter Hits Double Figures
Kevin Porter opened the scoring in tonight’s game, netting his 10th goal of the season at the 11:05 mark of the opening frame. Porter first made a defensive play to begin the sequence, knocking down a Colin Wilson pass just outside Colorado’s offensive blue line. The Avalanche turned up-ice, where Stastny made a nice feed to Porter, who went forehand to backhand to beat Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.

Porter became the sixth player to score at least 10 goals for the Avalanche this season, joining Duchene (21), David Jones (19), Hejduk (17), Stastny (17) and Chris Stewart (12). Tomas Fleischmann had scored 12 goals before his season was ended prematurely due to pulmonary emboli, but four of those came with the Washington Capitals before he was acquired by the Avs.

A season ago, eight players recorded at least 10 goals in an Avalanche uniform.

Changes Up Front…
Chris Stewart was a healthy scratch for Joe Sacco’s squad tonight. The power forward held a -2 plus/minus rating and recorded one shot on goal in 17:01 of ice time during Friday night’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In 11 games since returning from a broken hand, Stewart has totaled a goal and three assists with 23 shots on goal.

Taking Stewart’s place in the lineup was second-year center Ryan O’Reilly, who served as a healthy scratch on Friday night. Tonight’s contest was just the third O’Reilly has played in since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss seven games from Jan. 18-Feb. 5.

…And On The Back End
Defenseman Jonas Holos was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Thursday to play on an Avalanche blue line that had been hit hard by injuries, most recently to captain Adam Foote (leg) and Kyle Cumiskey (head). However, the Avs needed to find a replacement for Holos after the Norwegian defenseman suffered a head injury during Friday’s contest.

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As a result, Colorado recalled defensive prospect Cameron Gaunce from Lake Erie in order to ice six healthy players on its blue line. For Gaunce, who was selected by the Avalanche in the second round (50th overall) at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, tonight was his NHL debut. Before being recalled, Gaunce ranked second among Lake Erie defensemen in both assists (14) and points (15) in 54 games while also recording 69 penalty minutes.

Gaunce saw 11:11 of ice time in his debut and recorded one hit, one blocked shot and an even plus/minus rating.

Also of note, defenseman John-Michael Liles did not play a single shift in the first period tonight after experiencing a tough game last night. Liles was on the ice for the first shift of the second period and finished the game with 13:03 of ice time.
Ice Girls
Avs Alert
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