NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 24th
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (1-1-1) at Colorado Avalanche (1-1-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will have their forward depth put to
the test on Thursday night as they try to make it two victories in a row in a
meeting with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Avalanche dropped a two-goal decision at Minnesota to begin the season
before picking up a 3-1 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los
Angeles Kings on Tuesday. The Kings struck first in the game, but the Avs
exploded for three goals in the final frame.
David Jones scored on the power play 95 seconds after new Colorado captain
Gabriel Landeskog had tied the game with a goal. Free agent addition P.A.
Parenteau added his first goal with the Avalanche to cap the scoring.
Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves and Colorado killed off all six Los Angeles
power plays. The Avs had yielded two power-play goals in the loss to the Wild.
"We created some momentum (in the third) and we had some good penalty kills
all night long," Landeskog said.
Still without unsigned restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly, an 18-goal scorer
last year, the Avalanche lost forward Steve Downie to a season-ending knee
injury suffered against the Kings. Downie had an assist in two games this
season and notched 41 points in 75 games in 2011-12 with the Tampa Bay
Lightning and Avalanche.
Veteran Chuck Kobasew is expected to replace Downie in the lineup.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, opened their campaign with a shootout win at
Nashville before dropping a shootout decision to the Detroit Red Wings on
Monday. Columbus then failed to record a point in a third straight game as it
was routed 5-1 on Wednesday night by the Phoenix Coyotes.
In his first appearance of the season, former Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason
yielded all five goals on 42 shots in defeat. Sergei Bobrovsky, who started
both shootout games, is expected to get the call in net versus the Avalanche.
"We were terrible. It didn't matter who was in (net). It could have been
Patrick Roy," Columbus forward R.J. Umberger admitted. "We just didn't battle
in front of (Mason)."
Fedor Tyutin scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who were outshot
The Blue Jackets and Avalanche split four meetings last season and each club
picked up their two wins on the road. Colorado, though, has still won nine of
the past 12 encounters overall.
01/24 10:50:41 ET