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Roy shuffles Avalanche lines for rematch with Wild

by Rick Sadowski

WILD (1-0-0) at AVALANCHE (0-1-0)


DENVER -- It didn't take long for Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy to make lineup changes.

After watching the Avalanche get outshot 48-16 in a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in the season opener, Roy will shuffle all four line combinations for the rematch Saturday at Pepsi Center.

"Looking at the guys, they were not happy with their performance," Roy said after the morning skate. "We know we have to be better than what we did. We didn't compete the way we wanted and the guys know that. This is the first test for it. We're going to have to regroup and be ready. We have to be a lot different."

Matt Duchene will center a line with left wing Jamie McGinn and Jarome Iginla. Ryan O'Reilly will skate between left wing Gabriel Landeskog and rookie right wing Dennis Everberg, who played on the fourth line Thursday. Nathan MacKinnon will move from right wing to center on a line with left wing Alex Tanguay and right wing Daniel Briere. Right wing Max Talbot will shift from the third line to the fourth unit with left wing Cody McLeod and center Marc-Andre Cliche.

The changes won't matter much unless the Avalanche play with more energy and commitment than they did Thursday.

"We have to know that we can't just show up and put the gear on and we're going to be a good team," Duchene said. "We have to put the work in. We have to do what we did last year. We came to every game with enthusiasm and hard work and excitement. It seemed we were playing a little tentative. We just have to be a good team, be a playoff team."

Iginla, who signed as a free agent July 1, is excited about making his home debut in an Avalanche uniform.

"No matter what team you're playing with, these are always more special than a regular game," he said. "Our goal is to be really good early, to bring our compete level up. We got outcompeted in the first game. They were really good and we were the opposite of that. Obviously there's lots of things to improve on."

Wild coach Mike Yeo expects the Avalanche to play much better and come out hard in front of their home fans.

"We know they're going to want to come with a good effort, to bounce back," Yeo said. "They want to have a good showing in front of their home crowd. We should be only focused on ourselves and what we need to bring."

Can the Wild play any better than they did in the first game?

"Last game is behind us," Yeo said. "This is different circumstances, we're playing a different team tonight as far as what we know they're going to bring. We're playing in a different building. It's nice that we won the last game, but this will be another challenge."

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Matt Cooke - Mikko Koivu - Thomas Vanek

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Matt Dumba - Christian Folin

Darcy Kuemper

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Keith Ballard, Stu Bickel, Nate Prosser

Injured: Justin Fontaine (lower body), Josh Harding (broken foot)


Jamie McGinn - Matt Duchene - Jarome Iginla

Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Dennis Everberg

Alex Tanguay - Nathan MacKinnon - Daniel Briere

Cody McLeod - Marc-Andre Cliche - Maxime Talbot

Brad Stuart - Erik Johnson

Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie

Jan Hejda - Ryan Wilson

Semyon Varlamov

Reto Berra

Scratched: Nate Guenin, Zach Redmond

Injured: Patrick Bordeleau (back surgery) John Mitchell (migraines), Jesse Winchester (concussion)

Status report: The Avalanche already have hung the Central Division championship banner they won last season. It is Colorado's ninth division title since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995-96, its first since 2002-03. … The Avalanche are 12-3-3 in home openers, 10-2-2 at Pepsi Center after going 2-1-1 at since-razed McNichols Sports Arena. … Iginla has 560 career goals, tying him with Guy Lafleur for 24th place on the NHL's all-time list. … Bickel, a healthy scratch Thursday, will skate in the warmups and may play on the fourth line. If he plays, Zucker, Carter or Brodziak would be scratched. … The Wild are 13-3-3 in their past 19 games at Pepsi Center.

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