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Avalanche seek reversal of fortune against Flyers

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Only once this season has the Colorado Avalanche gone more than two straight games without a win, a four-game stretch in December that saw three of the games end in overtime or a shootout.

That's why there wasn't a lot of worry around the Avalanche locker room Thursday ahead of their game against the Philadelphia Flyers, two days removed from one of their most lopsided defeats this season, a 5-1 loss at the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

"Just a bump in the road," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "It's one of those things. We're all professional. We just have to put it behind us. We've all dealt with big losses before and this is no different. … That's what's great about this sport, you get a chance two days later to regroup. We're looking forward to [the game Thursday]."

Forward PA Parenteau said there were a number of excuses the Avalanche could make, among them that it was the second game of a back-to-back set and the previous night they needed overtime to beat the New Jersey Devils. But he said excuses aren't what his team needs right now.

"There's tons of reasons but we have to be better than that," Parenteau said. "At the end of the day 5-1 isn't going to cut it. There's some areas to our game that night that we could have done better. We're aware of that and we're planning on doing that [Thursday]."

Though the Avalanche want to change their fortunes, the Flyers are hoping they can keep rolling. They finished with back-to-back wins during their California trip against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 1 and the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 3.

"I think our whole team going into the game [Thursday] shouldn't forget about what we did in San Jose because we need to do the same thing [Thursday]," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "Skating, five-man pressure everywhere. Just no lazy strides anywhere, just work the whole game."

Aiding their effort will be the return of veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who missed the previous two games with a foot injury sustained Jan. 31 against the Anaheim Ducks. Timonen skated during practice Wednesday and said he felt fine after the morning skate Thursday.

"I feel pretty good," Timonen said. "… It's going the right way and I feel pretty good. It's a good feeling."

The 38-year-old has 17 points in 55 games and is third on the team with an average ice time of 20:43 per game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Gabriel Landeskog - Paul Stastny - PA Parenteau

Ryan O'Reilly - Matt Duchene - Jamie McGinn

Maxime Talbot - Nathan MacKinnon - John Mitchell

Cody McLeod - Marc-Andre Cliche - Patrick Bordeleau

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson

Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie

Andre Benoit - Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratched: Ryan Wilson

Injured: Alex Tanguay (knee), Cory Sarich (back)


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Scott Hartnell

Wayne Simmonds - Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier

Steve Downie - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Michael Raffl - Adam Hall - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn

Mark Streit - Nicklas Grossmann

Luke Schenn - Erik Gustafsson

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Andrej Meszaros, Hal Gill, Jay Rosehill


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