Shortly after taking the ice Sunday morning ahead of the Avalanche’s Round 2 opener, Erik Johnson kneeled to catch his breath. Captain Gabriel Landeskog, who had just come off the bench, skated toward him and leaned down, pulling the 33-year-old in for a hug.

The two longest-tenured Avalanche players were finally back on the ice together.

Johnson, an alternate captain, suffered an upper-body injury Jan. 30 against the Wild when he took a high hit from Jordan Greenway. The 6-foot-4 defenseman didn’t play again in the regular season, finishing with one assist in only four games. Until Sunday, he hadn’t been on the ice for team skates.

At the trade deadline, general manager Joe Sakic said Johnson might be able to return if the Avalanche reached the later rounds of the postseason.



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