Girard to play for Avalanche in Game 1 of second round against Sharks

NHL.com

Samuel Girard will return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup for Game 1 of the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS).

The defenseman missed the final three games against the Calgary Flames in the first round after sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 2. Colorado advanced with a 5-1 win in Game 5 on April 19.

"It happens, some injuries, but they take care of me," Girard said Thursday after he practiced wearing a regular jersey for the first time since he was injured on an open-ice hit by Flames forward Sam Bennett.

"The staff did a great job, so I'm ready to go for the next game. It's tough (not playing), I'm not going to lie, you always want to play, it's so nice being in the playoffs. When you're watching the games you want to be on the ice and help the team to win. I'm very happy to be back tomorrow."

Girard was playing the left side with Erik Johnson on the top defense pair when he was injured. Ian Cole replaced him against Calgary, but Avalanche coach Jared Bednar wouldn't reveal his plans for Friday.

#hockey, #professional

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