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Scouting Report: Colorado Avalanche

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

DENVER, CO -- The Calgary Flames will make a stop in Denver on Saturday, facing off against the Colorado Avalanche at 8:00 PM MT (CBC, FAN 960).

The Avalanche are coming off a 4-3 overtime setback to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson led Colorado with two points each while netminder Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves in the loss.

The Blackhawks scored twice in the second period and outshot the Avalanche 17-5 in the middle stanza.

"The second period, we were horrible," Colorado coach Patrick Roy told the team's website. "They dominated us. It was pretty simple; if it was not for Varly in the second period, it could have been a 6-2 game. Good for us to have at least a point ... but we didn't deserve it. It was their game, they outplayed us."

The Avalanche, who sit sixth in the Central Division with 39 points, have struggled to gain consistency over their last stretch of games. They are 2-1-2 in their last five outings and have allowed three or more goals in three of those contests.

Colorado has struggled at home this season, going 6-8-3 in Denver and being outscored 56-52 on home ice. In December, the Avalanche won three of their seven games at the Pepsi Center.

Former Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who has four points in his last five games, is searching for his 600th NHL goal. In 1430 regular season games, the 38-year-old has 599 goals and 1246 points. In 120 games with the Avalanche, Iginla has scored 39 goals and registered 79 points.

Iginla played 1219 games in Flames silks, amassing 525 goals and 1095 points.

The Flames and Avalanche have met once this season, with Colorado picking up a 6-3 win on Nov. 3. Nathan MacKinnon scored the game-winner in the 13:01 mark of the third period, with Iginla winning a puck battle along the board and feeding it to a waiting MacKinnon in the slot.

Iginla, MacKinnon, Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Francois Beauchemin, Matt Duchene, and Gabriel Landeskog all had multi-point nights in that win over the Flames.

BREAKING DOWN THE AVALANCHE

Record: 18-17-3

2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 1-0-0

2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 1-1-1

Notable Injuries: Reto Berra (lower body), Brad Stuart (upper body), Ben Street (upper body), Jesse Winchester (upper body)

Who's HOT: Matt Duchene

The Avalanche pivot has three points in his last two games and collected two points in his team's 4-3 setback to the Blackhawks on Dec. 31, pushing his season points total to 31 in 38 skates. He is second in team scoring and is tied for the lead in power play goals (5).

In the Avalanche's win over the Flames in November, Duchene had two goals and was the game's second star.

Honourable Mention: Nathan MacKinnon

The 20-year-old leads the Avalanche in scoring with 13 goals and 33 points in 38 games. The Nova Scotia native has five points in his last five games, including a hat trick against the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 28, and has put 14 shots on net in that span.

In the first game of the Flames and Avalanche 2015-16 season series, MacKinnon netted one goal and three points.

Who's NOT: Mikhail Grigorenko

Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, has just one goal and 11 points in 34 games this year and has been held pointless in his last seven appearances. He had just two points in December and capped off the month with just 6:21 of ice time against the Blackhawks.

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