Avs Gameday: Colorado vs. Toronto
Despite Solid Start, Avs Comeback Falls Short
It was the start Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy wanted against the Maple Leafs.
Colorado controlled the play early in the first period, registering four shots in the first two minutes, but Toronto grabbed the lead off an unlucky bounce of sorts for the home team at 3:56 of the stanza.
Looking for Phil Kessel in the neutral zone, Toronto's Dion Phaneuf sent a leading pass to the forward that was just a bit far of his reach. The puck sailed down the ice and caromed off the Colorado end wall to the right circle just as Kessel, trying to beat out the icing, got to the puck first and fired a shot past the blocker of Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov.
"The worst is I thought we had a great start," Roy said. "They made a nice play to clear the zone and Kessel was all alone, and they scored on a nice shot."
Despite the early goal, Colorado stayed with it and continued to get good shots on net and at one point had an 11-2 shot advantage.
Avalanche Win Streak Snapped by Maple Leafs
Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 11:19 PM
DENVER -- The James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel line combined for three goals and three assists for Toronto on Tuesday, and the Maple Leafs defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 at Pepsi Center to match their longest winning streak since Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 in the 2005-06 season.
Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon scored late in the second period and early in the third to pull the Avalanche within 4-2, but goalie J.S. Giguere, in for starter Semyon Varlamov, went to the bench for an extra skater with 2:56 to play, and Jay McClement scored into the vacated net with 2:13 remaining.
Toronto ended Colorado's winning streak at four games and handed Varlamov his first regulation defeat since Dec. 10, a 3-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Varlamov, who went 11-0-5 in his previous 16 decisions, was replaced at 2:55 of the second period after allowing three goals on 10 shots.READ MORE >
• Semyon Varlamov suffered his first regulation loss since Dec. 10, snapping a streak of 16 consecutive decisions without a regulation defeat (11-0-5)…Varly’s 11-0-5 run equaled the longest streak without a regulation loss in franchise history.
• Nathan MacKinnon recorded his third multi-goal game in the month of January…He recorded his first two career multiple goal efforts Jan. 4-6 against San Jose and Calgary.
• Phil Kessel extended his goal streak to four games (5g total) and his point streak to seven games (6g/8a).
• Jay McClement tallied his 200th career point with a goal tonight.
POSTGAME QUOTES >
Avalanche falls to Maple Leafs, 5-2 your final
Click below for a full gallery from Tuesday's game.
Parenteau Back in Lineup, Looking to Prove Himself
Right wing PA Parenteau bounded into the Avalanche's locker room Monday at the team's practice facility, exhausted and out of breathe after finishing a hard skating drill that would determine if he would play the today against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Give me a minute," he said as he sank into his stall before stating he completed the drill and would play versus Toronto.
The drill was called "Climbing the mountain," and it required him to go back-and-forth from the goal line to each blue line, to the center red line, and to the far goal line four times. He also had to do each set in under 52 seconds.
Parenteau just made it under the 52-second mark each time, and it was enough validation for head coach Patrick Roy to reinsert him into the lineup.
"He passed the last test, a skating test. He looked good, and he will play tomorrow," Roy said after Monday's practice.
This morning after the Avs' pregame skate, Parenteau was a little less out of breathe but was still confident in his ability to play after being out just over three weeks with a knee injury.
• The Avs posted their 30th victory of the season Jan. 16th, matching the 2000-01 club as the fastest team to 30 wins in franchise history (47th game).
• The Avs are currently in a stretch that finds them playing 10 of 14 on the road heading into the Olympic Break.
• Colorado has 28 more points through 48 games this season than it had during the 48-game season last year (67 to 39). That plus-28 turnaround is the best in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (+21) the only team even close.
• Colorado/Quebec is 37-25-9 all-time against Toronto, which includes a 14-9-2 mark since relocating to Denver.
• Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to start tonight and is 11-0-5 in his last 17 games (16 starts), equaling the longest streak without a regulation loss in franchise history (16 decisions).
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Avs vs. Leafs
Parenteau Set to Return as Avalanche Hosts Leafs
MAPLE LEAFS (26-20-5) at AVALANCHE (31-12-5)
Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 9:00 AM
TV: Altitude, Sportsnet Ontario
Last 10: Toronto 6-4-0; Colorado 8-1-1
Season series: This is the second and final game between the Maple Leafs and Avalanche, who won the first game 2-1 on Oct. 8 at Air Canada Centre, en route to a 6-0 start to the season. Colorado's PA Parenteau broke a 1-1 tie at 2:30 of the third period to lift the Avalanche to the win.
Big story: Speaking of Parenteau, he's expected to play Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 29, when he injured his knee in a center-ice collision with Winnipeg Jets rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba.
Parenteau was initially expected to be out of the lineup for up to six weeks, so his return after just three is a bonus for Colorado, which has regained its early-season form and is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games.
"Quicker, but still three to four weeks it was [out of the lineup]--it's nice to be back," Parenteau said Monday. "It was a kind of painful three weeks, not very fun. I'm looking forward to doing what I'm doing."
"He passed the last test, the skating test, and he did good," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I don't know yet what we're going to do. It's hard to make a big change in the lineup, the way the guys are playing. … That's the beauty of the situation. This is a good problem."
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