Avs Gameday: Colorado vs. Chicago
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Bounce-Back Performance Versus Hawks
After losing three games in a row, including a 7-3 loss to St. Louis and a 4-1 loss to Florida, the Avalanche needed a bounce-back performance.
Maybe no better opponent to do it against then the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Colorado defeated Chicago 5-1 on Tuesday night at Pepsi Center and – at least for the time being – got back on track to keep pace in the Western Conference standings. The Avs were leading the Central Division a week ago but had fallen to fourth entering the game against the Hawks.
“I think we responded well tonight, and it’s one of the best teams in the league that comes in here," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We responded well. It was a great team effort.”
The season is still early, but the West has proven to be very difficult with eight teams having 30 or more points. The top team in the Eastern Conference (Boston) has 29 points.
Avalanche Cruises to Win Against Blackhawks
Rick Sadowski - NHL.com Correspondent
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche turn into impressive streak busters when they play the Chicago Blackhawks.
Desperate for a win after being outscored 13-5 during a three-game losing streak and playing without leading scorer Matt Duchene (oblique injury), the Avalanche defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions 5-1 Tuesday at Pepsi Center.
Last year, the Avalanche snapped the Blackhawks' 24-game streak without a regulation loss to begin a season with a 6-2 win in Denver.
This certainly wasn't how the Blackhawks wanted to begin a seven-game, 13-day road trip after going 8-1-1 in the previous 10 games. They also lost forward Bryan Bickell to an undisclosed injury early in the first period when he slammed his leg into a goal post.
Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 36 shots. He received all the offensive support he would need in the first period, when Paul Stastny, Gabriel Landeskog and John Mitchell scored for a 3-0 lead, chasing Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford in the process.READ MORE >
* With a goal and an assist tonight, Paul Stastny moved past Valeri Kamensky (414) for eighth place on the franchise's all-time points list with 415.
* Stastny’s first period goal moved him into sole possession of eighth place on the franchise's all-time goals list with 143, breaking a tie with Dale Hunter (142).
* Tyson Barrie tied his career high with two points tonight…It was the second multi-point effort of his career (Feb. 16, 2013 at Edmonton).
* Maxime Talbot picked up his first two points as a member of the Avalanche with a pair of assists tonight…The two assists tied Maxime’s career high, as he also had two helpers on Jan. 29, 2008 at New Jersey and Nov. 5, 2007 New Jersey.
* The Avalanche’s three first-period goals were their most in an opening period this season…It matched the season high for goals in any period (Oct. 2 vs. Anaheim in 2nd period and Nov. 2 vs. Montreal in 3rd).
* The Avs improved to 13-0-0 when scoring the first goal, the NHL's only unbeaten team when scoring first… Colorado is 11-0-0 when leading after the first period and 13-0-0 when leading after two.
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INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM: Altitude Radio's Marc Moser catches players, following the Avs' 5-1 win against Chicago.
The best tweets before, during and after tonight's Avs vs. Blackhawks game#GoAvsGo
Tyson Barrie, Brad Malone Getting Their Chance
Injuries are hardly ever a good thing for a team, but they do lead to an opportunity for other players to step up and show what they can do.
Barrie (Sunday) and Malone (Monday) were recalled to the NHL the past few days after playing some good hockey recently with the Lake Erie Monsters. Barrie had three assists in six games since being sent down to the AHL on Nov. 4, while Malone was one of the top scorers on the Lake Erie with eight points (four goals, four assists) this season.
With center Matt Duchene out at least a week with an oblique injury and defenseman Ryan Wilson's back injury continuing to linger, Colorado head coach Patrick Roy had to reshuffle his lines for the matchup with Chicago.
Malone will make his season debut at wing on the fourth line with Patrick Bordeleau on the other side and Marc-Andre Cliche at center. However, Malone is a natural center and could play up the middle in some situations against the Blackhawks.
MORNING SKATE: Brad Malone, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O'Reilly and Avs coach Patrick Roy talk about the Blackhawks.
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* Colorado will host Chicago twice this year while making three trips to the Windy City. The Avs finished 1-2-0 versus the Blackhawks last season, 1-1 at home.
* The Avalanche snapped Chicago's NHL-record streak of 24 consecutive games with a point to start the season with a 6-2 win on March 8, 2013 at Pepsi Center.
* The Avalanche/Nordiques are 53-45-9-4 all-time against the Blackhawks, which includes a 37-22-3-4 mark since moving to Denver.
* The Avs are 4-2-0 in their last six games versus Chicago.
* Colorado is 6-3-0 in its last nine home matchups against the Hawks.
* PA Parenteau made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in 2006-07, appearing in five games (0g/1a).
* Joel Quenneville was a head coach and assistant coach with the Avalanche.
COMPLETE NOTES >
Avs Aim to Regain Form vs. Blackhawks
BLACKHAWKS (14-3-4) vs. AVALANCHE (14-5-0)
TV: ALT, CSN-CH
Last 10: Chicago 8-1-1; Colorado 6-4-0
Season series: The Colorado Avalanche welcomes in the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night in the first of four games this season between the now-Central Division opponents. The last met March 18, 2013, with Chicago earning a 5-2 win, paced by a goal and two assists each from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Big story: The circus has invaded United Center, so the Blackhawks begin Tuesday in Denver a marathon seven-game trip that won't have them playing another home game until Dec. 3. They face an Avalanche team that's lost three straight games since setting a franchise record for the hottest start through 16 games (14-2).
"I don't know if three games is a slump," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Monday after practice. "My standpoint is: I haven't changed one bit. The start that we have, people start thinking differently of us, which is what we want at some point, but I haven't changed. It's one game at a time and we'll be focused on Chicago [Tuesday] night."READ MORE >
Avs Know There's No Reason to Worry
After getting off to a franchise-record start through the first 16 games this season, the Avalanche has hit a slight bump in the road in the past week with consecutive losses suffered against Carolina, St. Louis and Florida.
A three-game losing streak is far more common than the 14-2 record the Avs produced in the season’s opening weeks, and Roy ran his team (14-5) through a spirited practice Monday morning, looking to smooth things out prior to a Tuesday night showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks (14-3-4).
“I don’t know if three games is a slump,” Roy said afterward.
“There’s no reason for us to start doubting ourselves just because we’ve lost three in a row,” Landeskog added. “ … We had a rough patch, but we have all the reason in the world to stay positive right now.”
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