MacKinnon sidelined 2 to 4 weeks with upper-body injury

Colorado Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon, right, controls the puck as St. Louis Blues' Joel Edmundson, center, and goaltender Carter Hutton defend during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in St. Louis. The Blues won 3-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

DENVER (AP) The Colorado Avalanche will be without leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon for two to four weeks with an upper-body injury.

On the team’s Twitter account Thursday, coach Jared Bednar said of MacKinnon’s absence: ”It’s not a great feeling when you lose a guy like that because of what he means to our team. But I’m excited for the opportunity it presents other guys.”

MacKinnon was hurt in the second period Tuesday against Vancouver after a collision near the end boards. He was sent back to Denver to be evaluated as the team continued its trip.

The 22-year-old All-Star entered the day second in the league in points, with 24 goals and 37 assists.

Colorado is pushing for a playoff spot a season after finishing last in the NHL with 48 points.