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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 19th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (6-1-0) at Buffalo Sabres (1-7-1), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche will try to rebound from their first loss of 2013-14 when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres for Saturday's battle at First Niagara Center.
Roy, a rookie NHL head coach, recorded wins in his first six games behind the bench before Colorado finally suffered its first loss of the season in Thursday's 4-2 setback against visiting Detroit.
The Red Wings scored twice in the opening period of Thursday's game before Colorado evened the contest at 2-2 with a pair of goals in the second. However, Johan Franzen provided the eventual game-winner 7:10 into the third and Pavel Datsyuk padded the cushion with 6:25 remaining in regulation.
Roy and was attempting to match the best start in franchise history, a 7-0-0 mark set by the 1985-86 Quebec Nordiques under Michel Bergeron. Roy also matched his old Canadiens head coach Mario Tremblay for the most consecutive wins to begin a coaching career at six.
Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal for the Avalanche, who received 24 saves from Semyon Varlamov in the loss.
Colorado defenseman Cody McLeod will miss Saturday's game following an illegal hit delivered on Detroit's Niklas Kronwall early in Thursday's contest. McLeod was suspended pending an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday, required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any ban that can exceed five games.
The play occurred 2:13 into the game as Kronwall went into his left corner to play a dump-in, and was slammed into the boards by McLeod. Kronwall was taken off the ice on a stretcher and the team said that he had some cuts near his right ear and had a concussion.
The Avs are kicking off a brief two-game road trip and also will visit Pittsburgh on Monday. Colorado still owns a perfect record this season as the guest, going 3-0 on the road to begin the campaign.
Buffalo is playing the second test of a three-game homestand on Saturday and hopes to avoid another loss. The Sabres dropped a 3-0 decision Thursday against Vancouver, dropping the club to 1-7-1 on the season.
Roberto Luongo stopped all 25 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season for the visiting Canucks. It was the second time Buffalo had been blanked this season and the club is ranked dead last in the NHL with an average of 1.11 goals per game in 2013-14.
Vancouver outshot the Sabres by a 19-7 margin in the first period and 34-25 for the game.
Ryan Miller had 31 saves in a losing effort for the Sabres, who were coming off their first win of the season Tuesday against the Islanders.
"He played great again," Sabres head coach Ron Rolston said of Miller. "He played fabulous for us. He's been our best player since the start."
The Sabres could be without Zemgus Girgensons for a second straight game tonight after he sat out Thursday's contest due to a facial laceration suffered in the win over the Islanders. The 19-year-old Latvian rookie has one goal and one assist in eight games this season.
Buffalo is still winless on home ice (0-4-1) and will complete its current residency Wednesday against Boston.
Colorado has won five straight against the Sabres, but the last four victories all came after regulation. Buffalo hasn't defeated the Avalanche since Dec. 4, 2005 and the Sabres have dropped three straight at home to Colorado since last winning a home game in this series on March 24, 2003.
10/19 10:32:11 ET
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