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Posted On Friday, 01.30.2015 / 3:10 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Avalanche

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said this season's Nashville Predators remind him of last season's Avalanche.

The Predators, who play the Avalanche on Friday at Pepsi Center, are leading the Central Division under coach Peter Laviolette, who replaced Barry Trotz in May.

Roy, in his first season with the Avalanche last season, led the Avs to the Central title.

"It's a very confident team," Roy said of the Predators (31-10-6), who are two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the best record in the League after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. "It's a team that really believes in themselves. Their coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for that."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:18 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Bruins at Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche still believe they are one run away from moving into a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Avalanche (19-18-10) are five points out of the second wild-card spot heading into their game with the Boston Bruins (25-16-6) at Pepsi Center on Wednesday. They're 6-2-1 in their past nine home games and 10-5-4 overall since Dec. 11.

"We're playing good hockey, playing over .500 lately, and we want to keep pushing the envelope and pushing the bar up higher," center Matt Duchene said. "Every game's the biggest game of the year right now. We're one streak away from being right in it. We're fine, we're chugging away, but at some point we're going to have to make a push. Our home record has been good lately and we have to take care of business tonight."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 11:16 AM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Avalanche

DENVER -- Looking to make up ground in the Western Conference and to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture, the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche play at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The Stars (18-15-7), who will reach the halfway point of its season, are four points behind the Winnipeg Jets (20-14-7), who hold the second wild card position. The Stars are one point ahead of the Avalanche (17-16-8), who begin second half play.

The Stars have lost three consecutive games (0-1-2) but are 8-2-2 in their past 12 games. The Avalanche are 4-1-0 in their past five games and 8-3-2 in their past 13.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.08.2015 / 4:13 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will reach the halfway point of the season when they play the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center on Thursday knowing they have plenty of work to do to move into contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Avalanche (16-16-8, 40 points) are seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets (20-13-7, 47 points) for the second wild-card position in the Western Conference. They've won three of their past four games and have gone 7-3-2 in the past 12.

"I think the last few weeks we've grown as a team," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "I think we've gotten better as the season has gone along, but we certainly want to improve. We know we have to improve to get to the playoffs. We have an opportunity tonight to keep going on home ice, where we've played pretty solid hockey as of late and we want to keep that up."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 2:47 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Avalanche

DENVER -- While the Colorado Avalanche are still having trouble scoring goals, their improvement on defense has resulted in a 6-2-2 run they'll test against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

The Avalanche (15-15-8) have allowed one goal or fewer in five of those games, and they've given up more than three goals once in this stretch.

"We're playing very well defensively," coach Patrick Roy said. "We've been giving less and less goals, which is very good for us. Now we just need to get some confidence offensively and I think we'll be in a good position."

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Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 3:40 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers will have different looks for different reasons when they play at Pepsi Center on Friday.

The Avalanche (14-15-8) are changing line combinations in an attempt to help center Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon end scoring slumps.

The Oilers (8-22-8) traded left wing David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in exchange for center Rob Klinkhammer and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. They have lost defenseman Keith Aulie to a two-game suspension; left wing Benoit Pouliot will return after recovering from a broken foot; and center Anton Lander will play after being recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

"It's a transition we can make," Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson said of losing Perron and adding Pouliot. "We add a quality forward to our lineup tonight with experience, so certainly he can help. We'll also get a good look at Anton tonight."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 3:00 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers will close 2014 on Wednesday at Pepsi Center hoping for better things in the New Year.

The Avalanche (13-15-8) have lost two games in a row and are last in the Central Division after finishing first last season. The Flyers (14-16-6) also have lost two in a row with three games left on an eight-game road trip. They're fifth in the Metropolitan Division after finishing third last season and earning a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Avalanche's inability to generate offense on a consistent basis despite a number of talented forwards has been a major problem. They've been shut out six times. Not counting goals awarded in shootouts, they've scored more than three goals in seven games.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 3:38 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Avalanche

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche rookie goalie Calvin Pickard will start against the Chicago Blackhawks for the second time in a month at Pepsi Center on Saturday, hoping to play as well, but with a different outcome.

Pickard made 42 saves on Nov. 26 in the Avalanche's 3-2 loss to the Blackhawks when Bryan Bickell broke a 2-2 tie with 5:17 remaining in the third period. The Avalanche were outshot 45-29.

"Last time I had a pretty good game against them," Pickard said. "It's too bad we lost at the end of the game. It's always a fun game between these two teams."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 4:12 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Avalanche

DENVER -- Paul Stastny found it necessary to follow his St. Louis Blues teammates in order to find the visitors’ locker room at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

"I didn't know which entrance to go in, I didn't know where the change rooms were," said Stastny.

The 28-year-old will play against the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since leaving in free agency and signing a four-year, $28 million contract with the Blues.

"A lot of guys go through this in their careers at least once," he said. "I'm excited, it'll be fun. I have a lot of family and friends here, so it should be a good time. I'll just try to have fun with it and enjoy it."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 3:25 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Avalanche

DENVER -- The Winnipeg Jets will attempt to continue their winning ways on the road when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

The Jets (15-9-5) have picked up at least one point in five consecutive road games (3-0-2) and their road record (9-4-3, 21 points) is second best in the NHL, two points behind the Vancouver Canucks.

"Keeping it simple," Jets center Bryan Little said. "There's not really any pressure playing on the road. We play a really simple game and I think we play even more simple when we're on the road. Each rink we're the underdogs and we have that simple go-to-work kind of attitude. It's been working for us. We come into each rink believing we can win."

The Jets are fourth in the Central Division and hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Winnipeg missed the playoffs its first three seasons after the franchise moved from Atlanta in 2011.

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Quote of the Day

I've been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time with some great players and be on power plays, play in some great cities and stuff. It's been fun.

— Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla on tying Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the NHL's all-time list with his 1,200th career point after their win vs. the Predators on Friday