Grubauer’s absence the latest hurdle for the struggling Avalanche

Oct 16, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) takes thrice for warm-ups against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In preparation for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators, the Avalanche recalled goalie Adam Werner from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League. Werner will be tasked with backing up Pavel Francouz because of the latest injury to another vital piece of the roster.

Starting goalie Philipp Grubauer is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, coach Jared Bednar announced at the conclusion of the morning skate.

“He won’t be available for the next couple of games,” Bednar said. “He tweaked it last game against Dallas but it’s something he’s been fighting for a while.”

Grubauer, who will go on next week’s road trip after the two-game homestand, joins Avalanche forwards Gabe Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, and Colin Wilson on the injured list.

The Avalanche will also have a new lineup tonight, as Bednar will continue to look at new combinations in order to bring the struggling offense back to life.

“They’re going to be similar but different,” Bednar said about tonight’s line combinations. “We are going to have a bit of a blender going as I try to play MacKinnon with a couple of other guys as much as I possibly can so you’ll see a bunch of different lines.”

Colorado’s morning skate included Werner and AHL forward T.J. Tynan, who replaces Jayson Megna as one of just 12 healthy forwards currently on the roster.

The Avs have been outscored 18-7 during its recent five-game slide, and with the highest-scoring team in the NHL in town, the Avs will need a better defensive effort in order to break out their slump.

“This could be a game to turn our slide around and start heading in the right direction heading forward,” forward Nazem Kadri said. “We are going to really try to capitalize on our opportunities.”

Puck drop tonight is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.