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Avs host Panthers hoping to end first losing streak

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche will try to snap their first losing streak of the season on Saturday night as they return home to battle the Florida Panthers.

The Avalanche won 14 of their first 16 games of the season, including six in a row on the road, before consecutive road setbacks to Carolina and St. Louis. The defeat to the Blues was a wake-up call as the Avs were routed 7-3, yielding four goals in the second period.

Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and an assist, while Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene added goals in defeat.

Jean-Sebastian Giguere got the start and yielded five goals on 23 shots. He was replaced briefly in the second period by Semyon Varlamov, who allowed two goals on six shots and was actually credited with the loss, before returning to start the third.

"There's nights like this," Colorado rookie head coach Patrick Roy remarked. "What I like about our team, even if it was a 7-1 or 7-2, we never stopped. We kept going at them. I think we just lost our focus in the second period."

Varlamov is likely to make his 13th start of the campaign tonight and is 3-1-0 with a 2.25 goals against average in four lifetime meetings with the Panthers.

Colorado is 8-2-0 at home and hosts a Florida club that has lost nine straight on the road since a win at Dallas on Oct. 3 to open the campaign. The Panthers are 0-8-1 as the visiting team since and dropped a 3-2 decision in Minnesota on Friday night.

Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau scored goals in the third period as the Panthers erased a two-goal deficit, but the Wild's Charlie Coyle potted the game winner less than four minutes after Huberdeau tied the game.

"We need to learn how to play 60 minutes because that's what kills us," Huberdeau said. "We're always down."

Tim Thomas stopped 17 shots for the Panthers, who had snapped an 0-5-4 slide Tuesday with a win over Anaheim. However, they lost the opener of a five-game swing last night.

The 39-year-old Thomas is 2-1-0 with a 2.34 GAA in his career versus the Avs, while backup Scott Clemmensen has faced them once before. That came on Dec. 2, 2009 with the Panthers and he escaped with a 6-5 shootout win at home despite giving up five goals on 34 shots.

The Avalanche recorded a 4-3 overtime victory when the clubs last met on Jan. 18, 2012 in Colorado, their third straight home victory in the series. The Panthers have not won in Denver since Jan. 2, 2003.

11/16 10:50:11 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/18 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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