Avalanche Getting 2 Key Players Back From Injury, 1 Close

The Colorado Avalanche are coming out of the All-Star break healthier than when they went in as two key players are set to return to the lineup. Jared Bednar confirmed that both Valeri Nichushkin and Bowen Byman will be back in the lineup for the team's first game after the All-Star break which is Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Nichushkin has been very productive when he has been healthy this season, the first of his eight-year, $6.125 million AAV deal. The 27-year-old has eight goals and 18 points in 20 games and will slot back in on the second line, most likely with Evan Rodrigues and Matt Nieto for the time being. Nichushkin started the season off very hot when he collected seven goals and 12 points in the first seven games of the season. He has since missed time on two separate occasions and the Avalanche hope that he can stay healthy and in the lineup down the stretch.

Byram hasn't played since November 4 in Finland against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has missed 38 consecutive games since only playing the first 10 of the season. The young defenceman has had major trouble staying in the lineup as he has only played 59 games over his first three seasons in the NHL. Byram has two goals and five points this season while he's racked up seven goals and 24 points in his career. He has been given more responsibility and playing time this season, but it will be a must for him to stay healthy for the rest of the season.

Bednar also gave an update on Gabriel Landeskog while he was at it, saying that the captain will be back fairly soon. He has been out the entire season with a knee injury and the lack of depth with all the team's injuries has shown.

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