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At the Rink blog

Avalanche have shot at making history

Wednesday, 11.06.2013 / 4:22 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Avalanche have shot at making history

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche can make NHL history Wednesday night if they defeat the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center. A win would give them a 13-1-0 record to match the 2007-08 Ottawa Senators as the only teams in League history to begin a season with 13 wins in the first 14 games.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy is more interested in getting off to a fast start against the Predators, who will be playing the third of a seven-game, 17-day road trip to accommodate the Country Music Association awards Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

"We need to focus on preparing ourselves for tonight and make sure we focus when we get to the rink, make sure that we play a strong game and especially have a strong start," Roy said Wednesday morning. "These guys are on the road for a long time, and I'm sure they're going to want to have a good start and try to win that first period. It'll be important for us to be ready right at the start of this game."

The Avalanche have outscored teams 19-9 during a six-game winning streak, their second such streak this season. They have won three consecutive home games since a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 17.

Left wing Jamie McGinn will return to the Avalanche lineup after missing three games with a knee injury, but right wing Alex Tanguay will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a knee injury he sustained Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon will replace Tanguay on a line with left wing Gabriel Landeskog and center Paul Stastny.

MacKinnon played there after Tanguay was injured and scored a third-period goal to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in their eventual 4-1 win.

This will be the second and final home meeting for the Avalanche against the Predators. They won the first game 3-1 on Oct. 4. MacKinnon had an assist in the game, his first meeting with Predators defenseman Seth Jones since last year's Memorial Cup.

The Predators have gone 1-0-1 in the first two games of their marathon trip, which ends Nov. 15 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Predators are 4-2-1 in their past seven trips to Denver and 5-3-1 in the past nine visits to Pepsi Center.

Center Mike Fisher won't play after sustaining a lower-body injury Saturday in the Predators' 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Colin Wilson is expected to shift from left wing to center on the line with Viktor Stalberg. Gabriel Bourque, who was a healthy scratch against the Kings, will likely fill in for Wilson at left wing.

Here are the projected lineups:

PREDATORS

Eric Nystrom -- David Legwand -- Patric Hornqvist

Gabriel Bourque -- Colin Wilson -- Viktor Stalberg

Nick Spaling -- Paul Gaustad -- Filip Forsberg

Rich Clune -- Matt Cullen -- Craig Smith

Seth Jones -- Shea Weber

Roman Josi -- Kevin Klein

Mattias Ekholm -- Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton

Marek Mazanec

Scratches: Victor Bartley

Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Matt Hendricks (upper body), Pekka Rinne (hip)

AVALANCHE

Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- PA Parenteau

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Nathan MacKinnon

Jamie McGinn -- John Mitchell -- Maxime Talbot

Cody McLeod -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Jan Hejda -- Erik Johnson

Ryan Wilson -- Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratches: Nick Holden, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Alex Tanguay (knee)

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres