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On The Road: Game Day In New Jersey

The Avalanche takes on the Devils

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche continued its road trip Tuesday as the team played the New Jersey Devils in its third and final contest in the New York metropolitan area. It was the Avs' third game in four days.

11:00 a.m.: Most of the team made their way down to one of the hotel's ballrooms to take part in an optional stretch. A few players were early for the stretch as they had breakfast at the hotel's restaurant and when finished immediately went over to start getting ready for that evening's game.

The entire roster was not at the stretch, as a few players decided to go to Prudential Center and use the team's allotted on-ice session at 11:30 a.m. to skate and shoot on goaltenders Calvin Pickard and Jeremy Smith, the latter of which was getting ready for his first NHL contest.

12:00 p.m.: After the stretch, the players took part in a team meeting to discuss the New Jersey Devils and go over some video clips. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes, but a few players stayed later to go over addition video with the coaching staff.

Afterward, the players ate a pregame meal and took a nap in preparation for the upcoming game. The players that went to the rink returned to the hotel closer to 1 o'clock and immediately grabbed some food before heading up to their own rooms to get some rest.

Before hitting the sack, captain Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Tyson Barrie filmed a quick segment for Altitude TV for Valentine's Day. The players were joined by host Lauren Gardner for some Valentine's Day questions before writing love cards to each other. They then read the other's card out loud, and what resulted was hilarious.

Tweet from @Avalanche: On this Valentine's Day, the #Avs' Gabe Landeskog & Tyson Barrie wrote love notes...

Tweet from @Avalanche: ...Then Gabe & Tyson read them to each other. #Avs360 ����������

4:30 p.m.: The players loaded up onto the bus with their luggage and headed to Prudential Center in Newark for the game. The buses had a police escort so the team wouldn't waste time waiting in traffic during rush hour. It was still a 22-minute trip to the arena, but the escort was a welcomed addition to help get the players to the rink with plenty of time to prepare before puck dropped.

7:07 p.m.: The Avalanche and Devils got underway in the clubs' first matchup of the season.

New Jersey opened the scoring early in the first period, but Colorado tied the contest 1-1 on defenseman Mark Barberio's first goal of the year at 6:43 of the second frame. However, the Devils added two more in the second, and despite a late tally from Mikhail Grigorenko in the period, Colorado couldn't close the gap in the third and lost 3-2.

Smith made 37 saves in his NHL debut.

9:43 p.m.: The final horn sounded and the Avs quickly packed up to catch the airport-bound buses, which departed the arena at 10:21 p.m.

11:14 p.m.: Colorado's charter flight takes off from a nearby airport and heads to the club's next destination in Buffalo. It was a quick 56-minute trip to Western New York, but there was still just enough time for the players to eat dinner and watch a TV show or part of a movie during the trek.

12:10 a.m.: The Avs' flight lands in Buffalo, and the players, coaches and staff collect their belonging, load up onto more buses and head to their new hotel. With it being the middle of the night, there were no other cars on the road, so the club got to its downtown hotel just 34 minutes after the airplane touched down. The Avs then quickly went to their rooms to get some rest for the next day's practice as they get set to begin the second leg of their week-long trip.

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