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Bernier To Start Against Ducks

Avs netminder played for Anaheim last season

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--Jonathan Bernier will get the start in net against his former club Friday night when the Colorado Avalanche hosts the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center.

Bernier was a member of the Ducks last season and played in 39 contests. While the goaltender was acquired in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the summer of 2016 to primarily be the backup, he was thrust into starting duty after John Gibson missed chunks of the year with injuries. Bernier finished the campaign with a 2.50 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and a 21-7-4 record, which included a 12-1-2 mark in his final 15 starts.

Friday's outing will be the Laval, Quebec, native's second of the season after he made his Avalanche debut last Saturday at the New Jersey Devils. He played well in a 35-save outing, but the team lost 4-1.

The contest against the Ducks is the first of a back-to-back for the Avs, who play at the Dallas Stars on Saturday. It is the first of 11 such instances for Colorado this season.

"First back-to-back (of the season), but everyone has played a back-to-back before," said forward Sven Andrighetto. "We know what it is, we know how it feels. We just got to do the little things right and we'll be good."

Video: Coach Jared Bednar gives an update on the Avs

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said Semyon Varlamov will start in Dallas in order to "get a rested goalie both nights."

Colorado is coming off two victories over the Boston Bruins, where it out-scored them 10-3 in the home-and-home series. Andrighetto had four points (three goals and an assist) in those two contests and scored twice in a 6-3 victory on Wednesday in the Avs' home opener.

"We played good hockey, four lines going really well," Andrighetto said of what made the Avalanche successful versus the Bruins. "It helps to keep the rhythm. We kept the penalties down, which helped obviously. We weren't on the penalty kill as much. We didn't turn over the puck as much. We played with the puck, made plays and scored some goals."

Video: Sven Andrighetto talks about the Avs' recent wins

Tyson Jost did not practice with the club on Thursday at Family Sports Center, but Bednar said the forward was at the team's practice facility doing an off-ice workout. The Avs coach said he was unsure if the rookie could play versus Anaheim.

Jost was hurt midway through the second period on Wednesday night after he was cross checked by Boston's Adam McQuaid and lost an edge before barreling awkwardly into the boards feet first. He returned later in the game and even scored an empty-net goal late in the third period.

Colin Wilson took Jost's spot on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and J.T. Compher during Thursday's practice. Wilson had previously been skating with Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau on the fourth line, which saw forward Matt Nieto join the trio full time for the on-ice session.

The rest of the Avalanche's forward line combinations and defensive pairings remained the same.

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