The Colorado Avalanche may have recorded a huge win in Game 2 on Saturday, but they have lost an important defenceman in Samuel Girard. The Avalanche recovered after dropping Game 1 on Thursday and evened up the series against the Calgary Flames. Girard left the game with a shoulder injury. The young defenceman was playing in his just fifth career playoff game when he was hit by Sam Bennett just 1:52 into the overtime. Defenceman Cale Makar will make his NHL debut in Game 3.
Sam Bennett ▶️▶️▶️ Samuel Girard #HfHits
Girard did not return pic.twitter.com/C7YczxGvLE
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) 14. apríla 2019
Colorado Avalanche´s Samuel Girard Left Game With Injured Shoulder
The shoulder-to-shoulder hit happened in the early stage of the overtime period. Girard had to leave the game as he headed right down the tunnel. He finished the night with more than 22 minutes off ice time. Girard is playing in his just second season in the NHL. He played his first five games with the Nashville Predators, who drafted him as the 47th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old defenceman was involved in a trade to Colorado, where he finished the past season with 68 appearances in the regular season.
In those 68 games, the rookie blueliner has recorded three goals and 17 assists for 20 points. He was limited to play in just three games in the playoffs last year versus his former team. Back then, he was dealing with an upper-body injury. This season, Girard hasn’t missed a game so far. In his 82 games with the Avs, Girard has collected four goals and 23 assists for 27 points.
What Does That Mean For The Future
Girard has been playing on the first defensive pair alongside Erik Johnson. Colorado head coach Jared Bednar couldn’t provide any further update on him in the post-game interview. He was not on the ice for the morning practice on Monday and is out for Game 3. The Avalanche will use Hobey Baker Award´s winner Cale Makar as Girard’s substitution. Makar will also play on the power-play. Makar will skate on the third defensive pair with Patrik Nemeth.
The Avalanche responded big-time after not scoring a single goal in Game 1. They have played better hockey in Game 2. However, they needed a huge game-tying goal with less than three minutes to go in the third frame scored by J.T. Compher. In the overtime, it was Nathan MacKinnon who became the hero for the Avalanche as the series shift back to Colorado notched at one apiece.
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 13: Sean Monahan #23 of the Calgary Flames battles Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 13, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)