Avalanche Defeat Kings, 3-2, For First Home Victory Of Season

Colorado beat Los Angeles for their first home victory of the season.

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13 Total Updates since October 26, 2011
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Avalanche Vs. Kings Final Score: Avs Get 1st Home Win, 3-2

Matt Duchene scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Colorado Avalanche were able to hold off the Los Angeles Kings the rest of the way and earn their first win on home ice. There was some drama late in the period after Daniel Winnik was sent to the box for tripping with less than a minute to play and the Kings pulled their goalie, but Avalanche were able to escape.

Unofficially, Colorado managed just 16 shots on goal to LA's 32, but the Avs outhit the Kings 20-17 and won 27 of 49 faceoffs.

The Avalanche have a couple days off before hosting the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday. The Kings will return home for a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.


For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Kings blog Jewels From The Crown. For updates on this game, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver, and for more news and notes from around the league, be sure to visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Kings Score Update: Colorado, Los Angeles Tied 2-2 After 2 Periods

The Colorado Avalanche have been outstanding on the road this season, which is good news considering they've yet to find the win column at home. They're even with the visiting Kings through two periods tonight, though Los Angeles has been the better team to this point; they have 26 shots on goal to the Avs' nine. But Semyon Varlamov has done a nice job in net, and the Avalanche are nonetheless in decent position for that first home win.

Colorado's Chuck Kobasew started the scoring with a short-handed goal at 6:55 of the first period, though Los Angeles responded quickly. The teams traded goals in the second period as well, with Colorado once again striking first. Milan Hejduk picked up his fourth goal of the season about halfway through the second, and the Kings answered late in the period.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Kings blog Jewels From The Crown. For updates on this game, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver, and for more news and notes from around the league, be sure to visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Kings: Colorado Still Searching For A Home Victory

An undefeated road trip to start the season is quickly becoming overshadowed by the Colorado Avalanche's apparent Achilles Heel; scoring goals at home. The disparity is shocking.

Seven road games, 27 goals scored. That's an average of 3.86 goals per game on the road, an excellent number.

Three home games, two goals scored. Furthermore, both goals have been scored by defensemen off deflections. The Avalanche forwards have yet to score a goal at home.

With two straight divisional losses, the Avalanche are desperate for a win. Mike Chambers of The Denver Post is reporting that Coach Joe Sacco has changed up the offensive lines for this game, with T.J. Galiardi moving to Paul Stastny's line. David Jones and Joakim Lindstrom have moved to a line centered by Matt Duchene.

The Los Angeles Kings are a tough opponent to bet against this season. After shocking the hockey world this summer by trading for Mike Richards and signing Simon Gagne in free agency, the Kings are a legitimate Cup favorite this season. Their top two lines are filled with elite talent, they have Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson anchoring their blue line, and Jonathan Quick has been the best goalie in the league this season.

Earlier this month, Quick was the first NHL goalie with three consecutive shutout victories since Chris Mason in 2008. With his 1.34 GAA, Quick is a favorite for NHL Player of the Month. He also has an excellent history against Colorado, boasting a 7-0 record in eight starts.

Puck drops at 6:00 p.m. MDT. 

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Kings blog Jewels From The Crown.

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Avalanche Vs. Oilers Final Score: Oilers Wipeout Avalanche, 3-1

The Colorado Avalanche got a sniff of a comeback in the third period of Friday night's game versus the Edmonton Oilers, but that fire was quickly extinguished. With the Oilers up 2-0, Avs center Ryan O' Reilly brought Colorado to within a goal, after he netted his first score of the season on a power play at 5:42. But just 17 seconds later, Edmonton center Shawn Horcoff put the puck past Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov to extend their lead back to two goals, and they wouldn't look back from there.

With the win, Edmonton unchains themselves from a tie with the Avalanche for first place in the Northwest Division, which they'll sit atop at 14 points. The Avalanche remains winless at home, but they'll have two more chances to wipe that away— on Sunday versus Los Angeles and Wednesday versus Phoenix— before they head back out on the road. But before they look ahead to their next few match ups, they'll certainly be kicking themselves over losing a game where they put 22 more shots on net than their opponents.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Oilers Blog Copper And Blue.

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Avalanche Vs. Oilers Score Update: Edmonton Nets Two In Second

Quality over quantity. In the second period of Friday night's game, the Colorado Avalanche put up nine more shots than the Edmonton Oilers. But, here's the catch: two of the Oilers' five shots ripped the net, whereas the Avalanche went... 0-14. The Oilers goals were curiously tallied by two defensemen; Cam Barker and Andy Sutton both notched their first goals of the 2011 season. With his goal tonight, Barker, the former third overall pick, matches his total from both of the last two seasons.

It's been a quiet night for David Jones, who leads the Avs in goals this season. In 11 and a half minutes of ice time, Jones has yet to test Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk, whose made 25 total saves on the night. It gets worse for Colorado: they'll be shorthanded for 51 seconds to open the third period after winger Chuck Kobasew was sent to the box for elbowing.

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Avalanche Vs. Oilers Score Update: Scoreless Tie After First Period

Blood has yet to be drawn in Friday night's match up of the NHL's Northwest Division leaders. The first period was clean and evenly played, with a plus-2 shots on goal margin for the Avs and only two total penalty minutes (assessed to Oilers defensemen Ladislav Smid). The low scoring affair would seem to benefit Edmonton, who at 17 total goals on the season, is one of the worst offensive teams in the NHL.

Both teams have notable streaks intact coming into this game. For the Oilers, it's a three game winning streak, which has included wins over the New York Rangers, the Vancouver Canucks and, on Thursday night, a victory over the Washington Capitals. The Avs' streak is on the dispiriting side, as the team has yet to win a single game at home this season. Friday night would be as good as any night to break that slide though, especially considering that it would award Colorado sole possession of first place.

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Oilers Rookie Nugent-Hopkins To Remain With Team, Will Play Against Avalanche

The Edmonton Oilers have decided to keep rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on their roster instead of sending him back to his junior league team. In doing so, the first year of his entry level contract automatically kicks in as soon as he takes the ice at Pepsi Center against the Colorado Avalanche.

Though there are fears of the young Nugent-Hopkins staying healthy throughout the long NHL season, he forced the front office's decision with the stellar start to his rookie year. He leads the team with five goals in nine games, and is a big reason they are tied for first in Northwest Division.

With Nugent-Hopkins staying in Edmonton, this game becomes the first of many meetings between the first two picks of the 2011 NHL Draft. Gabriel Landeskog has played well for Colorado this season and is second on the team in goals scored with four. His physical presence and smart play has given Ryan O 'Reilly a great weapon on the wing, and has added depth to the Avalanche's special teams.

The first meeting between Edmonton and Colorado this season was already going to be interesting because of the two teams' hot starts. Now, it becomes a fascinating matchup of two of the best collections of young talent in the league.

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Avalanche Vs. Oilers: Colorado Looks For 1st Home Win

After a disappointing loss to the Calgary Flames earlier this week, the Colorado Avalanche look to rebound with a home-heavy November schedule. Despite their troubles in Alberta, they are still atop the Northwest Division.

Their opponent, the Edmonton Oilers, surprisingly find themselves tied in that very same position. With their recent poor seasons, the Oilers have stockpiled an excellent group of young talent that has led the team to a surprising hot start. Jordan Aberle and Taylor Hall look to be future stars in the league, but it's the center of that line that has the league talking. 

Drafted first overall in 2011, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been sensational in his early season audition. He leads the Oilers with five goals and his nine points is tied for the team league with Eberle. Nugent-Hopkins scored a hat trick in just his third career NHL game, increasing his legend.

Then again, that's the problem. At only 175 pounds, there are serious concerns that Nugent-Hopkins will not be able to stay healthy for an entire NHL season. He obviously has the skill to play in the league right now, but he hasn't finished developing physically and could benefit from another year in the WHL with his junior team. According to NHL rules, young players can be sent down to their junior league teams after a nine-game audition without using a year of their rookie contract. Nugent-Hopkins is skilled, but is it worth using the first year of his entry level contract on a season that he may not be physically ready to face? He has already played in nine NHL games; if he plays against Colorado, he will be up in the league to stay.

The man drafted immediately after him has also shown he belongs in the NHL. Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog has been electric on the ice, showing the advanced hockey intelligence and physical presence that shot him up the draft boards in June. His four goals is second amongst all rookies to Nugent-Hopkins and he has been an integral part in Colorado's consistently best line this season, along with Daniel Winnik and Ryan O`Reilly.

The top two draft picks from 2011 are having incredible starts to their rookie seasons and could meet on the ice for the first time. Or maybe not. We'll just have to wait and find out what the Edmonton front office decides to do.

Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Oilers Blog Copper And Blue.

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Avalanche Vs. Flames Final Score: Colorado Drops 1st Game On Road, 4-2

The Colorado Avalanche's six-game road winning streak came to an end on Wednesday night with a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. Rene Bourque proved the hero for the Flames with two goals, including the game winner.

The Avalanche jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the period when Kyle Quincey netted a power play goal against Miikka Kiprusoff. Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson were credited with assists on the play. The team had only one other power play opportunity and failed to convert on it.

The Flames went on to score three straight goals over the first and second periods. Roman Horak and Lee Stempniak each picked up their first goal of the season. Rene Bourque put one past Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 9:27 in the second period on the power play.

Ryan Wilson scored his first goal of the season at 15:29 in the third period to draw the game to within one goal. However, Bourque was credited with his second goal of the game at 19:02.

Giguere stopped 31-of-34 starts while Kiprusoff made 34 saves on 36 shots. Twenty of the Avalanche's shot came in the third period, after having five in the first and 11 in the second.

The Avalanche (6-3-0, 12 points) host the Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Center on Friday night. The team is still looking for its first home victory.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Flames blog Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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Avalanche Vs. Flames Score Update: Flames Score Twice, Lead 3-1

Colorado slowed down the barrage of shots they faced from Calgary in the first, but the Flames still found a way to put two in the back of the net to grab a 3-1 lead at the Scotiabank Saddledome after two periods.

Lee Stempniak was set up by Roman Horak and Niklas Hagman to score his first goal of the season for the Flames. It was the second point of the night for Horak, who also scored in the first period. Rene Bourque would add his fourth goal of the season on a power play six minutes later. Assists went to Anton Babchuk and Jay Bouwmeester. The goal made Bourque Calgary’s leading scorer. He has found the back of the net one more time this year than teammate Curtis Glencross (three goals).

Colorada outshot the Flames 11-7 in the period. The Avs out hit ’em (9-6), too.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Flames blog Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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Avalanche Vs. Flames Score Update: Tied 1-1 After 1st Period

It's all even at the Scotiabank Saddledome after the first period. Kyle Quincey got the scoring started with his second goal of the season on a power play. Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson picked up the assists. It was the seventh point of the season for Colorado’s 25-year old star center.

It didn’t take long for the Flames to answer back. Roman Horak got the scoring started with his first goal of the season for Calgary just six minutes into the game. Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla picked up the assists. For Tanguay, it pushes his team-high points lead to eight.

The first period stats reveal a dominating performance for the Flames. Calgary outshot Colorado, 21-5. It’ll be a long night for Jean-Sebastien Giguere if his defense continues to let him down. Hits were almost even, with Colorado registering 11 and the Flames finishing with 12.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Flames blog Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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Avalanche Vs. Flames: Colorado Opens Up Divisional Play In Calgary

The Colorado Avalanche have been one of the surprise teams in this young NHL season, winning all six road games they have played en route to a 6-2 record and first place in the Northwest Division. They can extend that divisional advantage against their rivals, the Calgary Flames.

Calgary has not had an ideal start to their season. Last year, the Flames had an incredible second half run to close within a playoff berth, only to fall short. It appears they'll need another one to see the postseason this year -- if they don't start trading away key pieces. Star forward Rene Bourque has turned into a hot name on the trade market, as many teams would love to acquire his goal scoring abilities on the wing, including Colorado.

Why have the Flames struggled to the bottom of the standings? Offense. Though 10 Flames players have scored a goal this season, only Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, and Jarome Iginla have lit the lamp more than once. Their defense has been solid, and Mikka Kiprusoff has been great, but they don't have the top-tier offensive talent to overcome a poor game. With few impact players coming through their system, it may be time for Calgary to start flipping current (expensive) assets for prospects. Last season's late run may prevent this line of thinking, but the Flames simply haven't had great success in the Jarome Iginla Era.

Colorado, by comparison, has enjoyed excellent offensive output this season. Their 26 goals ranks 3rd in the NHL, and the power play and penalty kill both rank in the top 10 in the league. 11 Avalanche players have scored a goal, and six have scored multiple goals -- led by David Jones and rookie Gabriel Landeskog, who have combined for nine goals. This early success has happened even with the struggles of star center Matt Duchene. In practice this week, Duchene was playing on the fourth line and has been under fire for his lack of on-ice production.

Puck drops at 8:00 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey or our Flames blog Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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Avalanche Schedule 2011: Colorado Opens Divisional Play

Colorado hopes their hot start to the season continues into Northwest Division play.

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