Avs host Isles in clash between struggling teams
The Colorado Avalanche hope to get out of their recent funk game homestand tonight versus the New York Islanders at the Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche have lost four straight and seven of nine games (2-6-1), including Tuesday's 5-2 setback at Detroit. Rookie Gabriel Landeskog and Milan Hejduk each had a power-play goal for Colorado, which needed to use two goaltenders in hopes of turning the outcome around.
Semyon Varlamov was pulled after yielding three goals on 16 shots. Jean- Sebastien Giguere made 12 saves in relief. Varlamov was making his sixth start in a row.
"My job at that point is just to try to limit the damage and hopefully a goalie change will motivate the guys," Giguere said. "I thought after that we had a little bit more jump in our game, and it wasn't enough."
Colorado opened the season with a 6-2-0 mark after its first eight games. Center Matt Duchene has recorded three goals and three assists in the last three games, while center Peter Mueller (concussion) was back at practice and could see action this evening. Mueller, who missed all of last season with a concussion, hasn't played since suffering another head injury three games into the 2011-12 campaign.
The Avs will also host Calgary and are just 1-5-0 in the Rocky Mountains.
New York, meanwhile, will continue a three-game road trip Thursday and is 1-5-2 in its last eight games. It fell to 0-3-1 away from Nassau Coliseum with Monday's 6-2 loss at Boston, as Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson each had a goal and an assist in defeat.
Isles goaltender Evgeni Nabokov started the game in net, but didn't make it out of the first period, allowing three goals on 12 shots. Al Montoya played the rest of the game and permitted two goals on 24 shots.
"They are a good team over there with a lot of skill and a lot of size," said Nabokov. "They had a lot of chances in our zone and we didn't find a way to limit them."
The Islanders will also visit Vancouver on the road swing and have won four straight meetings with Colorado. They are 7-0-1 with a tie in the previous nine contests in this series.