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Posted On Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:39 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Roy wants to see Avalanche's Varlamov rebound

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov will start in goal Friday when the Colorado Avalanche face the Phoenix Coyotes at Pepsi Center, his first appearance since playing three games for Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Varlamov last played in an NHL game Feb. 6 when he stopped 32 shots in a 3-1 road loss to thePhiladelphia Flyers. He lost his last two decisions before the Olympic break but has set a career high for wins in a season with 28 and has been the Avalanche's most valuable player.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said he expects Varlamov to return to form after failing to win an Olympic medal for the host country.

"[Varlamov] is a great person and he wants to do well," Roy said. "I have no doubt in my mind that he's not happy about the way that he played and he's going to look at himself in the mirror. I think that's what makes a career. It's not always perfect. That's the way it was for me, anyway, and I think it's going to make him a better hockey player. It's going to help him approach how he's going to play until the end of the year and the playoffs. It's always how you bounce back."

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 4:02 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings' Jones, Avalanche's Giguere likely to match up

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche are looking to pick up where they left off before the Olympic break when they play the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday at Pepsi Center, while the Kings are hoping to get back on the winning track.

The Avalanche (37-16-5) are 11-4-1 in their past 16 games and sit third in the Central Division, five points behind the first-place St. Louis Blues and second-place Chicago Blackhawks.

The Kings (31-22-6) are on a 2-8-1 slide and third in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of the ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference.

Each team is expected to start its backup goalie, Jean-Sebastien Giguere for the Avalanche and Martin Jones for the Kings. Colorado's Semyon Varlamov played for Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick was in net for the United States.

"I feel everyone is feeling really good and recharged and ready to go," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I was pleased with the intensity that we had in our practices. It's going to be a challenge, but I think we have quality people here and I'm very confident that we'll do well."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.01.2014 / 11:51 AM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Goaltenders Varlamov, Miller face off in Colorado

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov, fresh off signing a five-year, $29.5 million contract extension, will start in goal Saturday when the Colorado Avalanche face the Buffalo Sabres at Pepsi Center. Varlamov went 10-1-1 in January, a franchise record for the month.

Center Paul Stastny and right wing Alex Tanguay will be game-time decisions. Stastny sustained an ankle injury in a collision with several players in the third period Thursday in the Avalanche's 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild. Tanguay tweaked his knee in the third period.

Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal for the Sabres. Miller made 38 saves Thursday when the Sabres defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 and has gone 8-3-3 in his past 14 decisions. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff missed that game with an illness but could be back in the lineup Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:53 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Avalanche, Wild staying in race despite injuries

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, who each have overcome significant injuries to remain in the hunt for Stanley Cup Playoff berths, play for the final time this season Thursday at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche have lost 110 man-games to injuries and the Wild 144, yet each is in a heated race for third place in the Central Division. Colorado enters with 71 points in 52 games while fourth-place Minnesota has 64 points in 55 games. Each team has gone 9-3-1 in January.

Avalanche right wing Alex Tanguay has returned to the lineup after missing 36 games with knee and hip injuries, while left wing Zach Parise is back with the Wild after sitting out 14 games with a foot injury. Tanguay has a game-winning goal and an assist in two games since rejoining the lineup. Parise has a game-winning goal and two assists in three games since coming back.

The Avalanche are 14-1-0 with Tanguay, who will play his first home game since he was injured Nov. 2 against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 3:26 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maple Leafs enjoy run; Parenteau back for Avalanche

DENVER -- It wasn't a coincidence that Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak wore an orange-and-blue-striped dress shirt Tuesday while a handful of teammates took part in an optional skate at Pepsi Center.

Bozak is a Denver Broncos fan, and those are the Super Bowl-bound team's colors. Bozak, who attended the University of Denver for two years and makes his offseason home in Denver, is friends with Toronto native and Broncos offensive tackle Orlando Franklin, who will attend the game Tuesday between the Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche.

"I told him to bring Peyton [Manning], but I don't know if he's going to," said Bozak, who has been limited to 27 games because of hamstring and oblique injuries.

Bozak is excited about playing before friends and the fact the Maple Leafs have won five games in a row to move back into the hunt for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.


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Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 4:30 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils to have Elias back in the lineup

DENVER -- The New Jersey Devils will have forward Patrik Elias back in the lineup Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center as they continue their push for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Elias has missed seven games with what the Devils called "total body soreness" following a Dec. 31 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Patty's going to play [Thursday]," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after the team's morning skate. "He makes us 10 percent better in all kinds of different areas. I'm sure there's going to be a little rust on him after missing some time, but it's nice to have him back and it's a nice shot of energy for us halfway through this road trip."

DeBoer hadn't decided on how Elias' return would affect his line combinations.

"We might make some tweaks," he said, adding he would dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

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Posted On Friday, 01.10.2014 / 4:12 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Avalanche coach Roy familiar with Islanders' Poulin

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy once described Kevin Poulin as the best goalie in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Roy will see first-hand how much progress Poulin has made when he starts Friday for the New York Islanders at Pepsi Center.

Roy was coaching the Quebec Remparts when Poulin was playing for the Victoriaville Tigres. Now 23, Poulin was a fifth-round pick (No. 126) of the Islanders in the 2008 NHL Draft and is in his fourth season with the team.

"He played well in junior," Roy said. "We played him one year in the playoffs and he was outstanding. I thought he was the reason why their team beat us. I'm happy to see him have a bit of success. Unfortunately, we don't see too much about the Islanders, but he seems to be taking advantage of that opportunity.

"It's a team that's playing with a lot of confidence right now. In order to have a winning streak, you need to have good goaltending. I'm sure Kevin is doing that for them."


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 4:04 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

O'Reilly out for Avalanche; Spezza back for Senators

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche will be without right wing Ryan O'Reilly for the first time this season Wednesday when they play the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center.

O'Reilly sustained a left shoulder injury Monday in the Avalanche's 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames. John Mitchell will take his place on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon will move to left wing with Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn.

The Avalanche also will need to shuffle the third and fourth lines. Marc-Andre Cliche will center the third line with Cody McLeod and Maxime Talbot, while Brad Malone will center the fourth line with David Van Der Gulik, who was recalled from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League, and Patrick Bordeleau.

Colorado is 3-1-1 in the first five games of a seven-game homestand and coming off that disappointing loss to the Flames.

"You always want to bounce back from a game like we played against Calgary," coach Patrick Roy said. "It will be important for us to finish the homestand on the right foot. We want to play well tonight, there's no doubt about it. We're playing a team that won their last four games and they're coming here with a lot of confidence."


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 4:17 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Avalanche say they still fear goal-starved Flames

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said it would be a mistake for his team to take the struggling Calgary Flames lightly Monday at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche are in third place in the Central Division with 26 wins and 56 points in 41 games. They've won three games in a row and are 3-0-1 in the first four games of their seven-game homestand.

The Flames are sixth in the Pacific Division with 14 wins and 34 points. They've gone 1-6-2 in their past nine games and have scored one goal during a four-game losing streak.

"If we think we're going to have an easy game, we're wrong," Roy said. "[Calgary] is a team that's going to work hard. This is a team that's almost in every game. I know a lot of times they finish on the wrong side, but at the same time they're going to work hard and they're going to give us a good battle. We're going to have to be ready for these guys because I expect them to play a good game tonight."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 11:13 AM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Avalanche forward Tanguay could have surgery

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said he would know early next week whether injured right wing Alex Tanguay will need hip surgery.

Tanguay has been sidelined since he sustained knee and hip injuries in a Nov. 2 game against the Montreal Canadiens.

"Monday or Tuesday will be a big test for him," Roy said. "He's going to skate and if it goes well, we'll keep going [with his rehab program]. If it's not, then we're probably going to have to have surgery for his hip. That's where we are."

The Avalanche have gone 2-0-1 in the first three games of their seven-game homestand heading into the game Saturday against the San Jose Sharks at Pepsi Center.

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