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Streaking Avs play host to Predators
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche aim to post their longest winning streak in nearly eight years on Wednesday night as they put their six-game run on the line in a home matchup with the Nashville Predators.
The Avalanche have posted a pair of six-game winning streaks around their only loss of the season, with their 6-0 start matching the second-best start in franchise history. They suffered their first defeat on Oct. 17 versus Detroit, but have stayed red-hot since.
Colorado failed to equal its best start in club history, but now has a chance to post its longest winning streak since an eight-game run from Dec. 31-Jan. 17 during the 2005-06 campaign.
The Avalanche swept games on back-to-back nights versus Dallas and Montreal, outlasting the Stars 3-2 in overtime on Friday before rolling past the Canadiens 4-1.
Montreal-born netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves for the Avalanche as first-year head coach Patrick Roy picked up a win over his former franchise. He spent his first 10-plus seasons as a player with the Canadiens, winning a pair of Conn Smyth trophies and Stanley Cup championships before his infamous trade to Colorado in December of 1995.
"We just played another notch up in the third period," said Roy of his club's three-goal frame. "It's fun to see things working out here as well as they are. This game meant a lot to the guys and it meant a lot to me."
Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O'Reilly scored in the third period to snap a 1-1 deadlock and P.A. Parenteau capped the scoring with an empty-net goal. Gabriel Landeskog scored in the second period and also had an assist.
"They came out hard tonight and the first period was tough for both teams," said Landeskog. "They're fast and have good players up front. I'm just glad we settled down after that first period."
At 12-1-0, the Avalanche have matched the 1994-95 franchise for the best start in club history through 13 games, but did lose forward Alex Tanguay for the next two weeks with a knee injury suffered on Saturday. MacKinnon is expected to take his place on a line with Paul Stastny and Landeskog.
Roy is slated to go with Semyon Varlamov in net tonight after the Russian netminder got the win on Friday versus Dallas. That start came just two days after he was arrested on domestic violence-related charges.
Varlamov is 8-1-0 with a 1.78 goals against average in nine starts this season and is 4-2-0 with a 2.47 GAA in six career meetings with the Predators. That includes a 26-save effort on Oct. 4 in a 3-1 home victory.
That win was Colorado's third in its last four meetings with Nashville since a nine-game series losing streak. All three of the wins have come at home.
The Predators have split the first two contests of a seven-game road trip, losing in a shootout to Phoenix on Thursday before bouncing back with a 4-3 victory at Los Angeles on Saturday.
David Legwand lit the lamp twice, including the deciding goal with 3:56 to play in regulation. That goal came after Nashville failed to hold a two-goal edge in the third frame.
With time winding down Legwand won a faceoff in the offensive zone and cleaned up Mattias Ekholm's shot from the point for his fourth goal and 12th point of the season.
"It was good to see (Legwand) get a reward for some good hard work," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said.
Carter Hutton made the lead hold up, finishing with 35 saves to snap Nashville's two-game losing streak. Eric Nystrom and Shea Weber added goals.
Hutton has been Nashville's No. 1 netminder with Pekka Rinne out with a hip injury. He is 3-1-1 with a 2.76 GAA in six games this season, including five starts, and would face the Avalanche for the first time.
Predators forward Mike Fisher suffered a lower-body injury against the Kings and is questionable for tonight, while Colorado's Jamie McGinn is on track to play for the first time in four games due to a knee injury.
11/06 10:39:49 ET