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Avalanche/Oilers Notebook

O'Byrne Suffers Facial Laceration; Elliott Debuts For Avalanche

Wednesday, 02.23.2011 / 10:24 PM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to
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Avalanche\/Oilers Notebook
O’Byrne Injured, McLeod Okay
Ryan O’Byrne was injured approximately four minutes into tonight’s 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers when he caught a skate to the face. While the play was behind Colorado’s net, Edmonton rookie Taylor Hall was upended, causing his leg to kick up and catch the Avalanche defenseman up high.

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O’Byrne finished his shift, but left a splattering of blood in a circular pattern around Colorado’s net before heading to the dressing room.

Shortly after, it was revealed that he would not return due to the laceration.

Cody McLeod also suffered a facial injury just minutes after the announcement about O’Byrne was made, but fortunately his wasn’t as serious as his teammate’s. Immediately following a faceoff at center ice, McLeod was struck in the face with an inadvertent stick and left a trail of blood while skating to the dressing room.

He took his leave with 9:08 remaining in the first period, but returned to the bench with 3:40 left in that same stanza.

New Masked Man
Netminder Brian Elliott made his debut for the Avalanche tonight after being acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Friday.

Elliott’s debut was delayed temporarily as he dealt with the normal immigration process, but he officially joined the club today and without so much as an official practice, was given the starting nod against the Oilers.

The University of Wisconsin product, wearing No. 30, made 26 saves against the Oilers.

Hejduk One Step Closer
Milan Hejduk scored his 19th goal of the season during the second period, taking a feed from Matt Duchene on an Avalanche rush and putting a well-placed wrist shot past Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk from the lower right circle.

The veteran winger is now just one tally away from reaching the 20-goal plateau for the 11th straight season, which would tie former Avalanche captain Joe Sakic’s franchise record (set from 1995-96 to 2006-07). Only Calgary’s Jarome Iginla (12 including this year) currently boasts more consecutive 20-goal campaigns.

Roster Moves
In addition to Elliott being added to the active roster, the Avalanche made two other personnel moves following Tuesday’s game in St. Louis After the contest, the club reassigned goaltender John Grahame and forward Mark Olver to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Grahame was recalled from Lake Erie on Feb. 18 following the Avs’ acquisition of Elliott and served as Peter Budaj’s backup on Feb. 19 at San Jose and Feb. 22 at St. Louis while Elliott went through the necessary paperwork process.

Olver was summoned by the Avalanche on Feb. 15 and appeared in two games (no points) before being reassigned to the Monsters.
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