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Avalanche's Roy still preaching positives

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was accentuating the positive Saturday following the morning skate in preparation for a game against the Florida Panthers at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche have a 14-4-0 record but have lost two in a row for the first time this season and are coming off a 7-3 loss Thursday to the St. Louis Blues.

"There's no reason for us not to be confident," Roy said. "We have 28 points and if you look at the segment of 20 games, you do that four times it's 112 points without winning the next two [games]. It's not only going to help you make the playoffs, you're going to be pretty close to be first overall.

"We're going to go through games like this in a season. The good thing is we talked about it. There's an area in our game that needs to improve, and that's our game management. We can't take penalties in the offensive zone. We need to be smarter. There's a few plays defensively where we were not as sharp.

"We should be very happy with our start, but we cannot be satisfied. It's a big difference. When you're not satisfied it means you're aware there are things to improve in our game. The good thing is we're aware of those things."

Defenseman Matt Hunwick will replace Andre Benoit, who sustained a wrist injury against the Blues. Hunwick has yet to play a game for the Avalanche this season. He played in five games for the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League and had two assists.

The Panthers will be playing the second game of a five-game road trip after losing 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Friday. They've gone 1-1-1 in the second game when playing back-to-back and have lost three of four games since Peter Horachek replaced Kevin Dineen as coach Nov. 8.

Here are the projected lineups for the Panthers and Avalanche:


Jonathan Huberdeau -- Nick Bjugstad -- Tomas Fleischmann

Scottie Upshall -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jesse Winchester

Tomas Kopecky -- Marcel Goc -- Brad Boyes

Sean Bergenheim -- Shawn Matthias -- Krys Barch

Dmitry Kulikov -- Mike Weaver

Tom Gilbert -- Brian Campbell

Mike Mottau -- Erik Gudbranson

Scott Clemmensen

Tim Thomas

Scratched: Matt Gilroy, Jimmy Hayes

Injured: Scott Gomez (groin), Ed Jovanovski (hip)


Ryan O'Reilly -- Matt Duchene -- PA Parenteau

Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Nathan MacKinnon

Jamie McGinn -- John Mitchell -- Maxime Talbot

Cody McLeod -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Jan Hejda -- Erik Johnson

Matt Hunwick -- Cory Sarich

Nick Holden -- Nate Guenin

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratched: None

Injured: Andre Benoit (wrist), Alex Tanguay (knee), Ryan Wilson (back)

NOTES: Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Saturday that right wing Alex Tanguay, who hurt his knee Nov. 2 against the Montreal Canadiens, will be sidelined indefinitely. "It's hard to pinpoint when he's going to come back," Roy said.

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