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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 3:39 PM

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

Banged-up Hurricanes to start Peters vs. Avalanche

DENVER -- The Carolina Hurricanes will hobble into Pepsi Center on Friday to play the Colorado Avalanche with two goalies who began the season in the American Hockey League.

Justin Peters, who replaced injured Cam Ward early in the first period against the Minnesota Wild in a 3-1 loss Thursday, will start in goal against the Avalanche.

Ward sustained a lower-body injury when he kicked out his right leg in an attempt to stop a shot by Mikael Granlund that went wide. Ward has been placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Peters, who stopped 19 of 21 shots Thursday, had been recalled from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League on Oct. 14 after backup goalie Anton Khudobin sustained a lower-body injury in an Oct. 13 game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Hurricanes called up Mike Murphy from Charlotte on an emergency basis Friday to dress as Peters' backup against the Avalanche. A sixth-round pick (No. 165) in the 2008 NHL Draft, Murphy is 1-2-0 with a 3.81 goals-against average in three AHL games this season.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 4:31 PM

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

Roy to Avalanche: 'Stay humble' as they chase 7-0-0

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche can tie a franchise record for consecutive wins to begin a season (seven) with a victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night at Pepsi Center. The Quebec Nordiques began the 1985-86 season with a 7-0-0 record.

But Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Thursday morning he wants his players to remain "humble" and to focus more on what they need to do against the Red Wings rather than be concerned about the record.

"I'm saying to the players every day, let's stay humble," he said. "We want them to be humble, we want them to take it one day at a time. When we met Ray Bourque in Boston (last week before the Avalanche's 2-0 win against the Bruins), Ray said, why not us? Those have been the words we've been using, why not another win tonight? We certainly want to focus on things we control, and what we control is how we're going to prepare ourselves tonight."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 4:45 PM

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

Avalanche look to tighten defense against Stars

DENVER -- While the Colorado Avalanche have gotten off to a 5-0 start for the first time since they were the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-95, coach Patrick Roy said not all is perfect with his team heading into Tuesday night's game against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche were outshot 19-7 in the second period of a 5-1 win Saturday in Washington when Semyon Varlamov was in goal. They were outshot 15-6 in the second period of their Oct. 10 game in Boston, a 2-0 win behind the goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

"The last two games, I think we gave up too much in the second period both times," Roy said Tuesday. "It was at the end of our trip when we had the lead. Things like that happen. We'd like to cut down a bit on shots. The chances, we gave a bit too many, though not as bad as it appears.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 3:26 PM

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

Avalanche captain Landeskog out with leg injury

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will miss the game Friday against the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center because of a leg injury.

Landeskog was hurt in Wednesday's season-opening 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks and is listed as day to day. John Mitchell, who centered the fourth line against the Ducks, will replace Landeskog at left wing on a line with Paul Stastny and Alex TanguayMarc-Andre Cliche will center the fourth line with Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said he expects Landeskog to resume skating Sunday and to accompany the team on a three-game trip that starts Tuesday in Toronto.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 4:22 PM

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

Roy, Selanne feel opening-night butterflies

DENVER -- Patrick Roy and Teemu Selanne will mark individual milestones Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center when the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks begin regular-season play.

It will be Roy's first NHL game as a head coach when he goes behind the Avalanche bench. For Selanne, who has told the Ducks he plans to retire after the season, it will be his 22nd and final opening night.

"Yes, I'm nervous," Roy said following the morning skate. "There's nothing wrong for me to be nervous. I'm a proud person and I want to do well. I care, and when you care you have to be a bit nervous. I'm curious also to see the difference between preseason and how the (opposing) coaches are going to deal during the games, the adjustments I'm going to have to make. I'm convinced I'm going to learn a lot this year.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:20 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Avalanche captain Landeskog expects better season

DENVER -- Gabriel Landeskog expects his second season as Colorado Avalanche captain to go more smoothly than his first. Named captain by coach Joe Sacco before the lockout-shortened season started, Landeskog missed 12 games with a head injury, slumped to nine goals and 17 points, and the Avalanche missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third year in a row.

"Last year was a little weird, to say the least, coming in after a lockout and having the 'C' on my jersey for just a few months," said Landeskog, who won the Calder Trophy in 2011-12 after scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 82 games. "It was a little weird. Now I know more what to expect. I'm not saying I'm the perfect captain, but it takes a while and there are a lot of great guys around here who are going to help me.

"(New Avalanche coach) Patrick (Roy) knows what it's like to be a leader in the dressing room, and I'm going to talk to him a lot. We're looking forward to having a little bit of a fresh start."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:17 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Downie cleared to return to ice for Avalanche

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche right wing Steve Downie has recovered from the torn anterior cruciate knee ligament he sustained in the second game of last season and will take part in on-ice workouts Thursday.

Downie, 26, is expected to skate on the third line this season with rookie center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jamie McGinn.

"He's cleared to play," Roy said of Downie. "I met him in June and he took [his rehabilitation] very seriously, and I'm very proud of him. He really worked hard and he's ready to play. He's an important player for us. His game is something that this team needs."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.27.2013 / 1:28 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild get ready for a regular-season 'Game 7'

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo has called Saturday's regular-season finale against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center a "Game 7," and with good reason. The Wild would secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win, but they would miss out with a regulation loss if the Columbus Blue Jackets win or gain a point in their home game with the Nashville Predators.

If the Wild and Blue Jackets finish tied in the standings -- each has 53 points -- Minnesota makes it to the postseason because it holds the tiebreaker with Columbus. The Wild also could move from eighth place in the Western Conference to seventh, depending how the Detroit Red Wings, who have 54 points, fare in their game at the Dallas Stars.

Goalie Niklas Backstrom is expected to start for the Wild despite getting pulled after allowing three goals on five shots in the first period Friday in a 6-1 home loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Backstrom has gone 10-2-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in his past 13 games in Denver, where the Wild have gone 11-2-2 in their past 15 visits.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Wild were expected to recall forwards Jason Zucker and Stephane Veilleux from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League and return Jake Dowell and Carson McMillan.

Each team played Friday -- the Avalanche pulled out a 5-4 shootout win at the Phoenix Coyotes -- and neither skated Saturday morning.

Here are the projected lineups:

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Posted On Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 7:57 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Lineups for Blues, Avalanche

DENVER – Here are the projected lineups for Sunday’s game between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center:

BLUES

Alexander SteenDavid BackesDavid Perron

Andy McDonaldVladimir SobotkaChris Stewart

Dmitrij JaskinPatrik BerglundVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzChris PorterRyan Reaves

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Jordan LeopoldKevin Shattenkirk

Barret JackmanRoman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratched: Adam Cracknell, Ian Cole, Jaroslav Halak, Andrew Murray, Scott Nichol, Kris Russell

Injured: Jamie Langenbrunner (hip), T.J. Oshie (ankle)

AVALANCHE

John MitchellMatt DuchenePA Parenteau

Cody McLeod – Ryan O’Reilly -- Gabriel Landeskog

Jamie McGinnPaul StastnyAaron Palushaj

Patrick BordeleauMark Olver -- Chuck Kobasew

Greg ZanonTyson Barrie

Jan HejdaStefan Elliott

Matt Hunwick – Shane O’Brien

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: David Jones, Milan Hejduk

Injured: Steve Downie (knee), Erik Johnson (wrist), Ryan Wilson (ankle)

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Posted On Friday, 04.19.2013 / 3:20 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Hejduk makes return to Avalanche lineup

DENVER -- Right wing Milan Hejduk will return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup Friday against the Edmonton Oilers after missing nine games, five with a torso injury and the past four as a healthy scratch.

Avalanche coach Joe Sakic said he hadn't decided where Hejduk would play or who he would replace.

"He'll probably get some power-play time and he may bounce around a little bit with some different line combinations," Sacco said.

Goalie Semyon Varlamov will start for the first time since the Avalanche's 4-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on April 6. He missed four games with hip and groin injuries and dressed as the backup for Jean-Sebastien Giguere in Monday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk will start for the Oilers. Dubnyk made 35 saves in a 4-0 win against the Avalanche on March 12. He has a 6-3-1 record with a 2.03 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in 10 career decisions against Colorado.

Here are the projected lineups for Friday's game:

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday