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Gabriel Landeskog suspended two games

The captain faces a setback just after completing the first game of the season

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Six Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog received a two-game suspension for his low hit on Kirby Dach late in Wednesday night’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. He hit Dach while he had the puck on his knees, rattling him into the boards in a nasty blow.

While Dach was just fine, Landeskog received a two minute roughing and two minute boarding penalty with just under four minutes left in the game, prematurely sending him down the tunnel to end the game. He was called to a hearing about the hit this morning from the Department of Player Safety.

Avs fans were hopeful that there would only be a fine placed on Landeskog’s new shiny eight-year deal that would take away some of his salary. However, early in the season the Department of Player Safety is putting their foot down and setting the tone for what is suspendable or not this season, causing Landeskog to lose $70,000 in salary.

With the two-game suspension, Landeskog will miss out on Saturday’s home game against the St. Louis Blues, and the first road game of the season in Washington D.C. against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The first game Landeskog will be eligible for a return is next Thursday in Sunrise, FL against the Florida Panthers.

With the loss of Landeskog, it is possible that the Avs will be without two of their stars this Saturday, as the condition of COVID-positive Nathan MacKinnon is still unknown and unclear if he will test out of COVID to return on Saturday.

With possibly two of the first-line members out, Mikko Rantanen will hold down the fort on Saturday against the Blues, probably with Nazem Kadri centering him once again. Look for Valeri Nichushkin to perhaps move up in place of Landeskog to that first line for the next two games.

The Avs will have to utilize more of their depth players in the pipeline in Loveland at the Colorado Eagles. Mikhail Maltsev might earn his first call-up of the season and join the Avs Saturday in place of Landeskog. Keep an eye out for that in the coming days. In the meantime, the Avs will be without their captain for the next couple of games.