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On The Road: Game Day In Philadelphia

The Avalanche faces off against the Flyers

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche is on a 10-day road trip that includes a week in Sweden for the SAP NHL Global Series. Colorado will play two games against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 10-11.

Before traveling to Europe, the Avs will play two weekend contests on the east coast against the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. is writing about the trip.

8:00 a.m.: It's game day in Philadelphia, and the first team bus departs from the Avalanche's downtown hotel and heads to Wells Fargo Center.

With the Flyers doing their morning skate at their practice facility, the Avs are able to take the early ice time at the arena, thus resulting in an earlier bus departure.

There was hardly any traffic in the city center on Saturday morning, and the bus made it to the South Philadelphia arena in only 15 minutes. Colorado's second bus departed at 8:45 a.m.

10:30 a.m.: The Avalanche's morning skate begins after the players go through their typical pre-practice routine.

The skate lasts about 20 minutes before the Colorado players start trickling off the ice and head to the locker room.

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will make his second consecutive start in net after recording 57 saves in Thursday's home win versus the Carolina Hurricanes. However, the news of the day was that two of the Avalanche's players are ill, and the club will use an abnormal lineup for the game against the Flyers.

Matt Nieto and Rocco Grimaldi are the sick Avs, forcing the team to play 11 forwards and seven defensemen because there are not enough healthy forwards on the active roster. The team usually skates 12 forwards and six D-men.

11:30 a.m.: One hour after Colorado's pre-game practice began, the team bus pulls out of the Well Fargo Center loading dock and heads back to the hotel.

Once at the hotel, the player go to a banquet room for a pre-game meal before heading back to their rooms for a short nap.

4:30 p.m.: Colorado's second team bus departs from the hotel and traverses to the Wells Fargo Center for the game. Most of the players take the second bus, while the others that took the first one left at 3:30 p.m.

Once at the rink, the players get their sticks and equipment ready and go through their pre-game scouting meeting of the Flyers before stretching and warming up.

7:07 p.m.: The puck drops in Philly.

Matt Duchene scored will less than two seconds remaining in the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 advantage before an eventful final 40 minutes.

Philadelphia tallied twice in the first 6:31 of the second frame to take the lead, but the Avs responded with a short-handed goal from Blake Comeau and a power-play marker by Mikko Rantanen in a 43-second span late in the period.

All three goals in the third period were scored in 2:04 of each other early in the frame. Colorado's Nail Yakupov buried his fourth marker of the season in the stanza, but the Flyers added two of their own to force overtime and eventually a shootout.

9:51 p.m.: Rantanen scores in the third round of the shootout, and the Avalanche defeats the Flyers 5-4 to win its third game in a row.

With the Avs picking up the win and a short flight to New York, the players weren't in too much of a hurry to gather their belongings and head to the bus. Despite that, the team nearly left on time of its "scheduled" 10:35 p.m. departure, as the team buses left the Wells Fargo loading dock at 10:39 p.m.

The airport isn't too far from the South Philadelphia arena, and the Avs arrive on the tarmac 12 minutes later.

Upon their arrival however, a light rain begins to fall outside, forcing the team's players, staff and media to quickly gather their belongings and rush onto the plane before getting too wet.

11:32 p.m.: Colorado's charter flight takes off from Philadelphia and heads to the New York metropolitan area. It's a quick, and bumpy, flight, but there is still enough time to serve a full meal to the players and staff before arriving in Newark, New Jersey.

11:50 p.m.: After an 18-minute flight, the Avs' plane lands in Newark. The players and staff hurry to gather the luggage and gear under the plane and load it onto the team buses, destined for the hotel, or equipment truck, which heads to Brooklyn and Barclays Center.

12:08 a.m.: Colorado's charter buses depart the Newark airport and journeys to New York City for the club's Lower Manhattan hotel.

With it being the middle of the night, there isn't much traffic and the Avs arrive at their hotel just after midnight.

The players than grab their room keys, workout clothes for the morning and head up to their rooms to rest and recover as they get ready for the second half of a back-to-back on Sunday at the New York Islanders.

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