NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 6th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (14-21-6) at Colorado Avalanche (26-11-4), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The young guns have been showing up for the Colorado Avalanche on their longest homestand of the season.
The Avs take aim at a fourth consecutive victory on Monday night as they take on a Calgary Flames club that is hoping a quick road trip can get its offense on track.
Colorado has won three in a row since opening its seven-game homestand with an overtime loss to Winnipeg on Dec. 29. The Avalanche's latest victory came on Saturday, a 4-3 decision over the San Jose Sharks that was closer than it needed to be.
Jamie McGinn, Erik Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon all scored during a 1:06 span early in the second period to put Colorado up 4-0 before San Jose scored the final three goals of the game.
Semyon Varlamov, though, came up with 30 saves as the Avalanche were able to hold on.
"We had a real good first half of the game. We stayed with the puck and played well against a very good team," said Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy. "Obviously after that, we lost our focus a bit. They were pressing in the third, and we were defending too much without pressing back."
Roy's club improved to 26-11-4 on the season, matching the 2000-01 Stanley Cup-winning squad for the most victories through 41 games in franchise history.
MacKinnon also scored in the first period on Saturday to notch his first career multi-goal game in the NHL. The first overall selection of the 2013 draft has 12 goals and 14 assists in 41 games this season, with four goals and five points over his past four games.
The 18-year-old is looking to stay hot along with 21-year-old captain Gabriel Landeskog, who had an assist versus the Sharks to push his point streak to six games in a row.
Landeskog, selected second overall in the 2011 draft, has three goals and four assists over his run as well as 30 points in 40 games this season.
The Flames, meanwhile, come into this meeting with an offense that is ice cold.
Calgary dropped four in a row to close out a five-game homestand that began with a 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues. The Flames were shut out three times over the four-game skid and scored just one goal in the other setback.
It could have been a successful stay at home for the Flames as they have allowed just 10 goals over the four straight losses. They were beaten 2-0 by Tampa Bay on Friday to end the residency.
Karri Ramo made 27 saves for Calgary, which ranks 29th out of 30 teams in the NHL with 2.27 goals per game.
"We are wasting great goaltending performances," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. "I thought we played a decent first period. We managed to stay in the game then a few bad penalties. The sad part of this is we killed them off and they got us a few seconds later so that put us right on our heels. As we all know we are a very fragile group right now."
Ramo will get the start again tonight for Calgary and has lost all three of his previous starts versus Colorado, including two this season, while posting a 2.71 goals against average.
Roy will start Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is 19-13-1 with two ties and a 2.33 GAA lifetime versus the Flames. He has lost three starts in a row since beating the Flames on Dec. 6 with 26 saves.
Giguere, though, was hammered for seven goals on 24 shots over two periods in his most recent appearance on Dec. 27 in a loss to Chicago.
01/06 10:44:53 ET