Avalanche defenseman Johnson set to return against Lightning


From The Denver Post:

No Avalanche practice today. The guys will skate at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to prepare for an evening game against the Tampa Bay Lighting. Avs D Erik Johnson will be back in the fold after serving his two-game suspension for slashing.

Johnson was given the ban while the NHL was on its Olympic break last month. It was the result of what the Department of Player Safety deemed a “reckless” and “violent” slash to the hand of New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen.

It was reported in February that Nielsen would be out a month as a result of a broken hand suffered on the slash. On Feb. 23, the Islanders put Nielsen on injured reserve.

With the suspension, Johnson was forced to forfeit $38,461.54 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Fund. This season with the Avalanche, the 25-year-old Johnson has seven goals and 24 points in 58 games.