Journeymen NHL defensemen Nate Guenin and Nick Holden were considered longshots to even make the Avalanche's opening-night roster. But first-year coach Patrick Roy said each will play during Colorado's first two games.

Guenin will be paired with Tyson Barrie in Wednesday's season-opener against the Anaheim Ducks at the Pepsi Center and Holden will replace Guenin on Friday against the visiting Nashville Predators.

Roy said the rotation is deserved while Ryan Wilson recovers from a knee injury.

Wilson who is on injured reserve skated on his own before practice Tuesday. When he returns Guenin or Holden will likely be sent down to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. Both are on two-way contracts so they will not have to clear waivers.

Guenin 30 and the 26-year-old Holden have combined to play in just 39 NHL regular-season games. Guenin from Aliquippa Pa. has played 32 games since 2006 with the Philadelphia Flyers (12) Pittsburgh Penguins (two) Columbus Blue Jackets (three) and Anaheim Ducks (15). He was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2002 after playing four years at Ohio State.

He also made opening-night rosters in Philadelphia and Anaheim.

"If I'm in the lineup tomorrow I'll be excited and do everything I can to help out" Guenin said after practice and before Roy announced the lineup. "I've always felt this is where I belong and it's just up to me to get here."