When a coach puts together a new line combination, there are no guarantees that the trio will have chemistry and will work well together.
That was not the case Tuesday as Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy struck gold with his new line of Ryan O'Reilly, Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn. The trio scored two goals and was on the ice for another score in Colorado's 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Each player brought their own specialty to the line—Duchene with his speed, McGinn with his physicality and O'Reilly with his puck handling—and it seemed like a perfect combination.
"For us, it was just keep it simple and get the puck low," said O'Reilly, who had a goal and an assist. "We're going to create opportunities, and this time we did."
The new line came about after right wing PA Parenteau injured his knee Sunday against Winnipeg, forcing Roy to reshuffle his forward combinations. Parenteau will be out approximately six weeks, and Roy said the injury would allow other players the chance to step up.
After a month of watching from the other side of the glass, Avalanche forward Brad Malone will be back in the lineup for tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Malone will replace the injured PA Parenteau, who hurt his knee Sunday night against Winnipeg and will miss roughly six weeks.
"You don't like to lose players, but at the same time everybody is exposed to a situation like this," Colorado head coach Patrick Roy said. "Just looking at Columbus tonight, they have been hit by injuries a lot, and I see it as an opportunity for some of our guys to take advantage of the situation."READ MORE >
BLUE JACKETS (17-18-4) at AVALANCHE (23-11-4)
TV: FS-O, ALT
Last 10: Columbus 5-4-1; Colorado 3-3-4
Season series: This is the first of two games between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche. In the 2012-13 season, when both played in the Western Conference, Columbus took two of three from Colorado. Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno were responsible for those wins with overtime goals.
Big story: With 50 points in their first 38 games, the Avalanche is on pace to eclipse 100 points this season. It would be the first time in 10 years the franchise accomplished that feat. That's in the long term, however; for the moment, the Avs will try to add some separation in the West. They enter Tuesday three points ahead of the eighth-place Phoenix Coyotes and five up on the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild.READ MORE >
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