NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 8th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (6-8-2) at Colorado Avalanche (12-2-0), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Despite his best effort, Matt Duchene couldn't get the Colorado Avalanche a share of NHL history last time out.
The streaking forward will now try to help his club bounce back from just its second loss of the season on Friday night in a matchup with the visiting Calgary Flames.
The Avalanche carried a six-game winning streak into Wednesday's meeting with the Nashville Predators and were looking to join the 2007-08 Ottawa Senators as the only teams in league history to win 13 of their first 14 games to begin a season.
Colorado battled back from three different deficits against visiting Nashville, with Duchene's 10th goal of the season and third point of the game deadlocking the contest at 4-4 early in the third period. However, Colin Wilson put the Preds up just over three minutes after Duchene scored and Nashville got an empty-net tally to hand the Avs a 6-4 defeat.
Duchene assisted on goals by P.A. Parenteau and Ryan O'Reilly, while Paul Stastny also scored as Colorado also failed to post the best start in franchise history. The 1994-95 Quebec Nordiques also began the season 12-1-0 before losing in their 14th game.
"You're not gonna be perfect every night. What has to be perfect is our work ethic," said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog. "Tonight, the work was there, but we were sloppy on defense. It was tough not getting the tying goal. We have to take what we did in the third and carry it to the next game."
Duchene will certainly try to carry his effort into this meeting. He has five goals and 10 points over his last seven games and 17 points in total this season. The 22-year-old has three goals and eight assists in 22 career meetings with Calgary.
Semyon Varlamov yielded a season-high five scores on 27 shots in defeat, but Colorado head coach Patrick Roy sympathized with his starter: "Varly was fighting out there. The goals were not his fault."
Still, Roy is expected to start Jean-Sebastien Giguere tonight in the third contest of a four-game homestand. While Varlamov is a solid 8-2-0 with a 2.10 goals against average in 10 starts this season, Giguere has won all four of his starts and has posted a 0.75 GAA with two shutouts.
Giguere has plenty of experience versus the Flames, going 17-13-1 with two ties and a 2.35 GAA in 34 career meetings.
Colorado defenseman Ryan Wilson is doubtful for tonight after suffering a back injury in the second period on Wednesday.
The Flames conclude a four-game road trip tonight with the back end of consecutive games. They won the opener of the swing in Chicago, but have since dropped contests in Minnesota and St. Louis.
Calgary nearly rallied from a three-goal deficit last night versus the Blues, but fell in defeat, 3-2.
Tim Jackman scored his first goal of the season and Mike Cammalleri added his fifth, with both tallies coming in the third period. Calgary also got a late power play and pulled goaltender Reto Berra for a two-man advantage, but failed to convert and is 0-for-28 on the power play over the last eight games.
"We created some chances at the net, but we didn't do it all night long," said Flames forward Chris Butler.
Berra was making his third career start after debuting in the win over Chicago, but yielded three goals on 27 shots faced. It was Calgary's eighth loss in the past 11 games.
Karri Ramo could earn the start tonight over Berra and has faced the Avalanche only once before and not since Jan. 15, 2008 while with Tampa Bay. He took a loss in that game, giving up two goals on 24 shots.
Though the Flames and Avs split four meetings a season ago, Calgary has still won 11 of the previous 15 encounters and eight of its last 10 in Colorado.
11/08 10:42:34 ET