Avs Take On Defending Cup Champions
AVALANCHE (0-1-0) AT BRUINS (1-1-0)
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Season Series –
This is the lone contest between the teams this season. In last season's single meeting, the Bruins dismissed the Avalanche 6-2 in Denver on Jan. 22. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic each tallied a pair of goals in the victory.
Big Story –
Colorado begins a five-game trek of the Eastern Conference on Monday afternoon, starting in Boston against the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins. The Avalanche will be eager to see the rubber hit the twine after being shut out in their season opener on Saturday; however, this will be no easy feat if last season's Vezina Trophy winner, Tim Thomas, has anything to say about it.
Saturday's home-opener wasn't exactly the start Colorado was hoping for – a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings – but there were certainly bright spots; rookie winger Gabriel Landeskog
looked strong in his first NHL regular season outing, tallying five shots in 16:03 minutes of ice time. Also, Semyon Varlamov
, acquired via trade from Washington over the summer, stopped 36 shots in his Colorado debut.
The Avs went 0-3 on the man advantage and allowed three even-strength tallies to Detroit. Despite being shut out, Colorado is eager to hit the road and earn its first win of the season.
"It's not the way you want to start, but it's the first game," center Matt Duchene
told the Denver Post. "A lot of teams lose their first game. It's no reason to panic yet."
Boston bounced back from a season-opening loss with a 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, thanks to a pair of goals from Rich Peverley and a pair of assists from Marchand. It was a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Final and, once again, the Bruins came out on top.
Thomas played a huge role in the victory with 25 saves in the contest and looks every bit as menacing as he did last season, which is exactly what the Boston faithful want to see in the first week of the 2011-12 campaign.
"Timmy looked, to me, more like the Timmy we know," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He looked calm. He looked more comfortable. To me, that was as close as I've seen Timmy to the way he was last year."
Who's hot –
Zdeno Chara played a grueling 24:46 minutes in his last outing, tallying five shots and earning a plus-1 rating.
Injury report –
The Avalanche have placed forward Mark Olver
(head) and forward Brandon Yip
(arm) on injured reserve … Boston is without defenseman Steve Kampfer (knee).
Stat pack –
Julien is on the verge of notching his 300th NHL victory. Saturday's win against the Lightning was the 299th of his career.
Puck drop –
"It's a five-game road trip and we still have 76 games when we get back … a lot of hockey when we get back. But I look at it as an opportunity for the guys to bond, to form some good team chemistry, because that's what you do on the road." -- Colorado coach Joe Sacco