DENVER – Colorado’s Andrei Burakowski will not travel with the team to Tampa on Sunday after sustaining an avalanche injury 7-0 in lightning in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday.
Coach Jared Bednar said Burakowski is still under evaluation and will join the avalanche in Tampa on Monday. Its availability for Game 3 is still unknown.
Burakovsky left the mile on Saturday early in the second period after Victor Heidmann’s shot from his hand. This is Burakowski’s second injury in the post-season, after he had to miss two games in the Western Conference final against Edmonton due to a leg injury. Burakowski said last week that he’s recently felt close to recovering from the problem, but he’s still taking regular maintenance days from his morning workouts and skates.
Avalanche is already playing a short role in the top six, with Nazim Qadri remaining off the field after thumb surgery. He last played in Game Three of the Conference Finals and resumed stick skating last week. Bednar said on Sunday that Kadri will travel with the team to Tampa but it is still considered day in and day out.
“We hope to see him at some point,” Bednar said. “I’m not sure about game 3 or game 4 [though]. “
Burakowski displayed his best hockey game in the playoffs since replacing Kadri in the second streak of the avalanche. The big winger scored the Colorado goal in overtime in Game 1 and took advantage of limited playing time in Game 2, scoring a key goal in Valeri Nichushkin’s goal in overtime and scoring another himself. Burakowski now has three goals and eight points in 12 post-season games.
Bednar arranged his lines again without Burakowski in Game 2, and raised Artturi Lehkonen to Unit Two with Mikko Rantanen and JT Compher.
Colorado will wait to see if Burakowski is able to play in Game Three on Monday. Avalanche Andrew Cogliano put his (finger) back on Saturday to boost their forward depth. If Burakowski is not available, Nicholas Op-Kopel will likely return to the squad, having been a healthy scratcher in Game 2.