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Rantanen Among Finnish Greats

The Avalanche forward has 80 points in his second NHL season

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

A day when Mikko Rantanen is not smiling is rare. The laidback, fun-loving Finn is almost always in a good mood, both at the rink and away from it.

He has become quite the vocal presence and jokester in his second NHL season. It's not unusual to hear the Colorado Avalanche forward chirp his teammates during the club's pregame two-touch soccer game, shooting competitions after practice or when trying to toss a ball of used hockey tape into a trash bin.

However when it's game time, that's when Rantanen gets down to business and he's been a force on the ice this year. Using his 6-foot-4 frame, he's excelled at protecting the puck and crashing the net and his efforts have contributed to plenty of goals, which often brings out more giant smiles from the 21-year-old.

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Avalanche To Honor Gold Medalist Nicole Hensley

Colorado native helped USA win Olympic gold in South Korea

by @Avalanche / Official website of the Avalanche

United States Women's National Team goaltender Nicole Hensley will drop the puck in a ceremonial faceoff prior to the Colorado Avalanche's game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Center.

Born and raised in Colorado, the Lakewood native was a member of the U.S. squad that defeated Canada in the gold-medal game on Feb. 22 at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It was Team USA's first gold medal in the women's ice hockey since the inaugural tournament in 1998.

The Avalanche will honor Hensley prior to the 1 p.m. MT contest, and fans are encouraged to be in their seats early to watch the ceremonial puck drop. Limited tickets for the Avs-Knights games are still available.

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Looking Towards The Vegas Golden Knights

The Avs host Vegas for the first time on Saturday afternoon

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--The Colorado Avalanche returned to practice at Family Sports Center on Friday to regroup and prepare for the last two weeks of the regular season.

The Avs are putting Thursday's 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the rearview mirror and looking ahead to the next game on Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Center against the Vegas Golden Knights.

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Avs Loss To Kings A Learning Experience

Colorado fell 7-1 to Los Angeles

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

Every game is a new learning experience with opportunities to develop, and the Colorado Avalanche will use its loss to the Los Angeles Kings as a growing exercise.

The Avalanche fell 7-1 to the Kings at Pepsi Center on Thursday in the second matchup between the clubs this season.

"This will be a good lesson for our guys," said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar. "Now, we will look at some things in the video and have a good day at practice tomorrow, which is much needed, and then try to bounce back here and respond after the loss.

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game recap

Kopitar scores four goals to lift Kings past Avalanche

Quick makes 29 saves; Los Angeles moves into third in Pacific

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Anze Kopitar scored four goals to help the Los Angeles Kings move into third place in the Pacific Division with a 7-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Kopitar is the first player for Los Angeles to score four in a game since Luc Robitaille did it against the Quebec Nordiques on Nov. 25, 1993.

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Avs Get Ready For Another Big Game

The Avs and Kings are separated by one point in the standings

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

With nine contests remaining in the season, the Colorado Avalanche wants to take advantage of the situation it is in as it pushes for the playoffs.

Each game is becoming increasingly more meaningful and seemingly has more significance than the last, and that is true against tonight as the Avalanche hosts the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center in the next biggest game of the campaign.

"That's probably the easiest thing, coming to the rink and realizing the task at hand, I think we have been good at that for the last couple of months," said defenseman Tyson Barrie. "We realize how big these games are and we are a young team, but we get the gravity of the situation we are in and we have done a good job to put ourselves where we are and we want to capitalize on it."

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Projected Lineup: Avalanche vs. Kings

Carl Soderberg will miss his second straight game due to an illness

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

In a game with major playoff implications, the Colorado Avalanche will once again be without one of the squad's veteran forwards.

Carl Soderberg is still under the weather and will miss his second consecutive game tonight when the Avs host the Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center.

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Avs Face Kings In Battle For Playoff Positioning

Colorado hosts Los Angeles in the only meeting of the season at Pepsi Center

by Scott MacDonald /

The Colorado Avalanche (40-25-8) continues its fight for a postseason spot as the team returns home for two games, starting with a Thursday night matchup against the Los Angeles Kings (40-27-7). The Avs enter Thursday's contest one point ahead and has a game in hand on the Kings for the Western Conference's first wild-card spot.

This is the second of three meetings between the two clubs this campaign, and the only one in the Mile High City. The two teams will square off one more time at Staples Center in L.A. on April 2.

The Avalanche is 36-39-10 against L.A. since the 1995-96 season but owns a more favorable record on home ice, going 22-18-1.  

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J.C. Beaudin In His First Pro Season

The Colorado prospect spent the last three seasons in the QMJHL

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

A version of the following story appeared in the 2017-18 third edition of AVALANCHE, the official game magazine of the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club. For more feature stories, purchase a copy of the magazine during Avs home games at Pepsi Center. All proceeds from game-magazine sales support youth hockey associations in Colorado.

After three years in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, forward J.C. Beaudin is in his first year playing professional hockey.

Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round (71st overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, the center spent his junior career playing for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and is in his first season in the Avalanche system.

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Varlamov Shines In Chicago, Again

Goaltender makes 44 saves in Avalanche victory

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

When Semyon Varlamov plays the Chicago Blackhawks, a strong performance by the Colorado Avalanche goaltender is almost a given.

He did it again on Tuesday night at United Center as the Avs keeper stopped 44 of 45 shots in a 5-1 victory. Colorado is now 8-1-3 in its last 12 games and has 40 wins on the campaign.

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