News: Curtis McKenzie was reassigned to AHL Texas on Tuesday, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: With the Stars preparing to welcome Valeri Nichushkin (hip) back into the lineup Thursday following the completion of his conditioning assignment, Curtis McKenzie was likely to be squeezed out of a regular role. He'll help AHL Texas prepare for a playoff run after posting five points in 36 games with the parent club this season.
News: Nate Guenin tallies an assist in 4-1 loss to Edmonton on Monday. Analysis: Nate Guenin dished out a helper, recorded a shot and skated to minus-1 rating Monday in a 4-1 loss to Edmonton. The assist gives the defenseman his first point in the last seven games, accumulating a total of 15 points in 70 games this season.
News: Semyon Varlamov will make his next start in goal Saturday in Los Angeles, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy will give the first two starts of the Avs' three-game road trip that begins Wednesday to backup goalie Reto Berra, who has seen scarce work this season behind Semyon Varlamov, and in a couple instances, Calvin Pickard. When he hasn't been slowed by groin injuries, Varlamov has just about been an iron man for the Avalanche, and he's beginning to show some chinks in the armor. He's given up exactly three goals in four of his last five starts, while taking a loss to the lowly Oilers in the only start in that stretch where he yielded two tallies. His save percentage stills sits at a robust .921 for the season, but with the Avalanche all but eliminated from the playoff race at this point, it makes sense for the team to rest Varlamov a little more often.
News: Reto Berra will be in the crease for the Avs' next two games Wednesday in San Jose and Friday in Anaheim, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: The back-to-back starts on tap for Reto Berra are an admission by the Avalanche that the team doesn't view itself as playoff contenders, which seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment given their eight-point deficit from the final wild-card spot out West. Berra delivered an excellent outing in his spot start last week against the Canucks, and with Semyon Varlamov and Calvin Pickard having previously shouldered the bulk of the duties in goal for the Avalanche this season, it makes sense for the team to take a longer look at Berra. While Berra won't make for a strong daily option in either of his starts, those in weekly leagues mining for wins and saves may want to take a look at the 28-year-old, who has a 3-3-1 record, 2.97 GAA, and .906 save percentage over his 16 appearances.
News: Alex Tanguay dished out a helper in a 4-1 loss to Edmonton on Monday. Analysis: Alex Tanguay recorded an assist, which came off of his only shot on goal in the 4-1 loss to Edmonton on Monday. Tanguay has accumulated 30 assists this season, the 11th time in 15 seasons the forward has recorded at least 30 assists in a season.
News: Daniel Briere (foot) will not join the Avalanche for their three-game California trip that begins Wednesday in San Jose. Analysis: Daniel Briere has already missed the Avs' last four contests after taking a shot off his foot in a March 23 tilt against the Flames. His activity has been limited since then, and the team apparently wasn't optimistic of his chances at being back to full health by the time the road trip concludes. The Avalanche will only have three games remaining on its regular-season schedule after the road trip, and with Briere not necessarily a lineup regular before the injury, it wouldn't be surprised if he was shut down for good.
News: Clayton Stoner continues to deal with a lower-body injury, Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner -- who has recorded eight points and 66 PIM in 67 games to date -- thus remains in the day-to-day category as Wednesday's game against the Oilers approaches.
News: Erik Johnson (knee) has not been cleared to play and will not join the Avalanche for their three-game road trip through California this week. Analysis: Optimism seemed to be building over the past weekend that a lineup return was imminent for Erik Johnson, who had been able to skate with the Avalanche on Saturday morning. However, it sounds like the blueliner isn't progressing as quickly as it appeared, and it's now in question whether he'll even play again this season. After the Avalanche complete their road trip, the team will only have three games remaining on its regular-season schedule. With the playoffs likely a pipe dream at this point, it may make sense for the Avalanche to shut him down for precautionary purposes.
News: Matt Beleskey continues to nurse a lower-body injury, Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Analysis: Matt Beleskey was a late scratch Sunday after suffering a lower-body injury during warmups, and based on Tuesday's practice lines, it looks like he's a candidate to miss Wednesday's game against the Oilers as well.
News: Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Henrik Lundqvist would start Tuesday's game against the Jets. Analysis: After a seven-week absence due to a vascular issue with his neck, Henrik Lundqvist was roughed up in his return to the net Saturday against the Bruins, conceding three early goals and ultimately taking the defeat. Some rustiness should probably be expected in Lundqvist's next couple of turns, but the Rangers believe he'll be sufficiently tuned up in time for the playoffs.