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Avs' leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon out with injury

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, the second-leading scorer in the NHL, will miss two to four weeks with an upper-body injury, the team announced Thursday.

MacKinnon, who has 61 points, was hurt in the second period Tuesday on a hit from Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. The 22-year-old center appeared to be favoring his left shoulder on the bench before heading to the locker room.

"He's day-to-day and he's going back to Denver to get evaluated," coach Jared Bednar told reporters Wednesday. "It doesn't look too serious at this point, but he'll miss [Thursday]."

MacKinnon was the first overall pick in the 2013 draft and had 63 points as an 18-year-old rookie. But he hasn't reached that number since, and the Avs struggled through the past three seasons, registering the fewest points in the league last season with 48.

The Avs traded Matt Duchene, one of their best players, in November. MacKinnon and others stepped up, however, and the Avs have been a pleasant surprise. They already have 58 points and are only one point out of a playoff spot.