Avs' Rantanen injures lower body, week-to-week

Colorado Avalanche star Mikko Rantanen is “week-to-week” after suffering a lower-body injury during an awkward moment against the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

The injury wasn’t caused by an opponent, but rather by an opponent’s ice. Early in the second period, Rantanen’s left skate got caught in the ice, causing his left foot to twist unnaturally. He fell to the ice in pain, and limped off to the dressing room for treatment.

“He’s week-to-week. … I should know more early next week,” said coach Jared Bednar, who added that he doesn’t envision it will be in the “four-to-six-week” range.

Rantanen has five goals and seven points in nine games for the Avalanche, who are tied for the Western Conference points lead with a 7-1-1 record.

He has been one of the NHL’s top-scoring wingers for the past three seasons and is tied for fourth among right wings with 1.12 points per game since 2017. Rantanen, 22, set career highs in goals (31) and assists (56) last season.

His line with center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Gabriel Landeskog is in the conversation for best in the NHL.

“He is one of the best players in the NHL. When you lose one of the best players in the NHL, it’s tough,” MacKinnon said. “We’re not going to replace him, but he got hurt last year and we found a way to get some wins. Hopefully we can weather the storm until he gets back. Mikko is a freak. He will be back, I’m sure, sooner than later. And like I said, we need guys to step up, including myself.”

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