The Colorado Avalanche piled on six goals to beat the Calgary Flames 6-3 on Jan. 31, thanks to three separate third-period goals to secure the win. Tonight, the Flames will be at the Pepsi Center–it’s Colorado’s only home game until March 8–and two less-than-stellar teams, both in the Northwest Division, could each use the two points to boost them higher up in the Western Conference and closer to playoff contention.
Though the Avs are coming off a forgettable three-game road trip to California, they play well on home ice, boasting a 5-2-1 record in “the Can.” Patrick Bordeleau emphasized the importance of a strong start because it’s like waking up on the right side of the bed: get a good start and the rest of the game is more likely to be good too. Semyon Varlamov benefits from the home ice as well. He has a matching 5-2-1 record there, a 1.97 goals-against average and two shutouts. With those kinds of numbers, he’s very likely to be in net tonight.
In the Can, the Avalanche also kill penalties well. They’ve successfully killed 33 out of 35 penalties taken inside the Pepsi Center, which could be bad news for the Flames. Calgary struggled mightily to do anything with two long power plays they got against the Minnesota Wild in their most recent game and held a team meeting to discuss how to strengthen their man advantage.
Matt Duchene, who had been out with a groin injury, skated this morning and should play tonight. He has two goals and seven assists in 19 games against Calgary. P.A. Parenteau‘s body of work against the Flames is very small, but bountiful: he has two goals and five assists in just three games played. Paul Stastny has put up 16 goals and 24 assists in 36 games.
These two teams will face off at 7 p.m. Mountain (9 p.m. Eastern).