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Avalanche Hosts Devils Looking to Gain Ground

Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 8:48 AM

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Avalanche Hosts Devils Looking to Gain Ground
New Jersey Devils vs. Colorado Avalanche

DEVILS (20-18-10) at AVALANCHE (29-12-5)

TV: Altitude, MSG PLUS 2

Last 10: New Jersey 5-2-3; Colorado 6-2-2

Season series: This is the first of two games between the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche.

Big story: The Avalanche has gotten hot the past two weeks by winning six of eight to close the gap with Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.


Devils: New Jersey has a point in five straight games, winning three of four, including a 4-1 victory Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens. The Devils have climbed to within one point of the final Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Near the bottom of the NHL at 2.33 goals per game, New Jersey's offense has produced more than two goals once in the five-game point streak. Against Montreal, four players had two points each, including Jaromir Jagr, who scored his 695th NHL goal to lift him past Mark Messier for seventh on the all-time list.

Avalanche: Colorado has dropped from first place to third in the Central, but with an eight-point lead and three games in hand on the Minnesota Wild for third place, the Avalanche remains in line for an automatic playoff berth.

Colorado made a big step toward getting some separation with a 4-2 win against the Wild on Saturday. Colorado followed that up with an equally impressive win in Chicago on Tuesday, thanks to an overtime-winner by defenseman Tyson Barrie and 46 saves from goalie Semyon Varlamov.

"[Varlamov has] been outstanding," coach Patrick Roy said. "We rally around him, and that was the type of performance we needed from our goalie to beat the Blackhawks."

Who's hot: Devils forward Ryane Clowe has a goal and six assists during a five-game point streak. ... Barrie's score in overtime Tuesday was his second goal of the game and his second game winner in three games. He has three goals and three assists in the past five games.

Injury report: Devils forward Patrik Elias (upper body) has not played since Dec. 31 but practiced Wednesday, accordng to Forwards Damien Brunner (knee) and Jacob Josefson (illness), and defenseman Peter Harrold (foot) are all on injured reserve. ... Avalanche defensemen Cory Sarich (back), Erik Johnson (back), goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere (back spasms) and center Paul Stastny (leg) are questionable. Defenseman Nate Guenin (bruised ankle) and forwards David Van der Gulik (undisclosed), PA Parenteau (knee) and Alex Tanguay (knee) are on injured reserve.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 03 '14 COL 2 at NJD 1 - OT R. O'Reilly
Jan 16 '14 NJD 1 at COL 2 - SO M. Duchene
J. Jagr49142438+152424
M. Ryder4916925-61242
M. Zidlicky4881725+54451
P. Elias3471825-1810
A. Henrique49121224+41232
A. Greene4971623+61432
D. Zubrus4991221+102601
T. Zajac4771421+61612
E. Gelinas3851318-31442
D. Brunner328513-62221
S. Bernier49369-14601
A. Loktionov40369+11001
R. Clowe17189-41700
R. Boucher21246+0400
A. Volchenkov37066+41000
R. Carter32325-52100
S. Gionta36235-81200
J. Merrill26044-8600
C. Janssen24303+32200
M. Fayne39123+01400
A. Larsson20123-4801
P. Harrold21022-51000
B. Salvador19022-11700
R. Olesz10022-1000
T. Sestito9022+0000
M. Tedenby15101-81000
J. Josefson16011+0200
M. Sislo7000-1000
M. Brodeur2613-9-4616442.33.905
C. Schneider237-9-7455951.91.924
M. Duchene44162440+61543
G. Landeskog46132235+113123
P. Stastny43132134+91622
R. O'Reilly45181432+6054
N. MacKinnon47151429+51674
P. Parenteau3891524-21801
E. Johnson4771320+153020
A. Benoit4621618-51001
J. McGinn4410717+52111
J. Mitchell4741216+41611
M. Talbot475813-12301
J. Hejda435813+132000
T. Barrie305813+71622
A. Tanguay13369+8401
C. Sarich42189+23400
C. McLeod42268+28000
N. Holden20257-2601
S. Downie11167+43611
P. Bordeleau47426+25001
M. Cliche41055-31300
R. Wilson16055+31000
N. Guenin38044+01400
B. Malone14022-1200
K. Stollery2000+1200
D. Van Der Gulik2000+0000
M. Hunwick1000+0000
S. Varlamov3723-8-58311642.29.929
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