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Blues seek more success without injured McDonald

St. Louis (9-8-2) at Colorado (9-11-0) 9:00 p.m. EST

DENVER (Ticker) -- When center Andy McDonald went down with a

serious injury, the hopes of staying in contention could have

easily escaped the St. Louis Blues.

Instead, the persevering Blues have not missed a beat without

their star scorer and can notch their fourth straight win when

they take on the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

McDonald, who has six goals and 12 assists, broke his leg in a

3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on November 16 and

is expected to be sidelined eight weeks. The Blues also decided

to add depth to their club by trading Lee Stempniak to the

Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and center

Alex Steen on Monday.

Its offensive deficiencies were exposed on Tuesday, but St.

Louis skated to a 1-0 shootout victory over the Nashville

Predators while improving to 3-0-0 without McDonald.

Chris Mason made 47 saves and turned aside both attempts he

faced in the bonus format, while David Perron and Brad Boyes

converted on theirs against Nashville netminder Dan Ellis.

Colorado has dropped three of four and is coming off a deflating

4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

Captain Joe Sakic missed his seventh straight game, but was not

held out because of the lingering back injury that has hampered

him. He sat out with a toothache and is expected to play

against the Blues.

The Avalanche have struggled on offense during their current

slide, netting two total goals in their three losses and three

in the lone victory, a 4-3 shootout over the Los Angeles Kings

on Saturday.

"It's been a while since we've scored more than one goal,"

Colorado defenseman Ruslan Salei told the Denver Post. "We're

getting our chances, but we have to bear down. We have to score

. You can't win in this league if you score one or less."

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