Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen returns vs. Avalanche

Jan. 14 (UPI) — Toronto activated goalie Frederik Andersen from injured reserve prior to the Maple Leafs’ home game against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced Monday.

Andersen missed the last eight games due to a groin injury and illness. He last played on Dec. 22 against the New York Rangers and made 25 saves in a 5-3 win.

Michael Hutchinson filled in for the returning goaltender in five games, but Garret Sparks will back up Andersen against the Avalanche in his return from a concussion. Toronto was 4-4-0 while Andersen was out.

“I’m happy to be back and looking forward to be back playing again,” Andersen told reporters before the game. “I think anyone will say that it [stinks] to look from the outside in and see the guys playing without you. You want to be part of the team and part of the battle for every game.”

Andersen has a 20-9-1 record with a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 30 games this season. He stands at third in the NHL in wins, sitting behind Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (26) and San Jose’s Martin Jones (21).

The Maple Leafs (28-14-2) are second in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. Toronto is 2-4-0 in its last six games.

Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov opposes Andersen. Colorado has lost three consecutive games and are 1-7-2 in the past 10.

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