(SportsNetwork.com) – The Colorado Avalanche will try to record consecutive
victories for the first time this season, but in order to do so they’ll have
to earn their first win in Philadelphia in over eight years.
The Avalanche hope to break a three-game skid in the City of Brotherly Love
when they visit the Flyers for Saturday’s clash at Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia hasn’t lost at home to Colorado since dropping a 4-3 overtime
decision on Jan. 14, 2006. The Avs’ last road regulation win over the Flyers
came on March 16, 2002.
Colorado halted a three-game slide with Thursday’s home shootout win over
Toronto, but last season’s Central Division champions have yet to claim
consecutive victories in 2014-15. The Avs have an 0-0-3 record following wins
so far this season.
The Avalanche notched a 4-3 win against the Maple Leafs thanks to Alex
Tanguay, who scored the deciding marker in the third round of the shootout.
Each of the first three shooters — Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene for the
hosts and Tyler Bozak for the visitors — converted their chances. James van
Riemsdyk of the Leafs followed by missing the net on his shot to end the
second round, then Tanguay beat Jonathan Bernier with a wrister to end the
Duchene, Tanguay and Nick Holden lit the lamp in regulation for the
Avalanche. Reto Berra came up with 33 saves over the game’s first 65 minutes
and improved his record to 2-0-1 on the season with the shootout victory.
“Berra was fantastic in the shootout,” Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog
said. “We stuck together. Nothing was going to stop us tonight.”
Semyon Varlamov is expected to start tonight. Colorado’s No. 1 netminder is
1-1-1 with a 2.81 goals against average in four career games (three starts)
against the Flyers.
Former Flyers forwards Danny Briere and Max Talbot will return to Philadelphia
tonight. Briere may not suit up, however, as the 37-year-old has been a
healthy scratch in each of the last five games for Colorado. He has two goals
and one assist in 10 tilts this season. Talbot has two helpers while playing
in all 15 games for the Avs.
Philadelphia has won its last two games and the Flyers will try to match a
season high for consecutive victories when they welcome the Avalanche tonight.
The Flyers won three straight from Oct. 22-28 and have come out victorious in
five of their last seven games.
Craig Berube’s boys are playing the third part of a four-game homestand
Saturday after beginning the stay in South Philly with a pair of 4-1
decisions. The Flyers downed the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday before beating the
Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Steve Mason has started the last three games for the Flyers and he could get a
chance to pick up a third straight victory tonight. Mason fell to 0-4-1 after
losing at Florida last Saturday, but he rebounded with consecutive wins over
Edmonton and the Panthers.
Mason stopped 34 shots to help Philly get revenge against the Panthers on
Thursday for last week’s 2-1 setback. Four different Philadelphia players lit
the lamp in the rematch against Florida.
“It’s huge to come out quick and get that two-goal cushion,” Mason said. “When
you can get out to a quick start like that, it definitely makes thing more
relaxed and gives you a sense of confidence out there.”
Sean Couturier, Michael Del Zotto, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Jakub Voracek
tallied while Brayden Schenn posted two assists for the Flyers, who improved
to 4-1-2 as the host this season.
Voracek pushed his point streak to seven games on Thursday and he has reached
the scoresheet in 12 of 13 tests this season. The Czech winger has 19 points
(6 goals, 13 assists) and is tied with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the NHL
The Flyers could have Brayden Coburn back in the lineup Saturday, as the
defenseman aims to return from an injured left foot. Coburn, who hasn’t played
since the season opener in Boston on Oct. 8, has been skating for a few days,
but with Philadelphia’s next game after Saturday not scheduled until Nov. 14
against Columbus, Berube could opt to give the blueliner the extra rest.
Fellow defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who has missed the last six games with a
lower-body injury, resumed skating on Thursday but he won’t play tonight.
“I’m sure they are all excited about those guys skating again,” Berube said of
The Avalanche and Flyers have split their last six meetings overall and
Philadelphia posted a 3-1 decision when the clubs last met on Feb. 6 at Wells