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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 4th (All times Eastern)

Nashville Predators (0-1-0) at Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Owners of the top pick in the most recent draft, the Colorado Avalanche passed on defenseman Seth Jones and instead selected Nathan MacKinnon first overall.

Jones fell fourth to the Nashville Predators and gets his first chance at showing the Avs what they missed out on as the clubs square off Friday night in Denver.

More than a few pundits had Jones as the top prospect in the draft and the fact that he lived in Colorado for a time while his father Popeye Jones played for the NBA's Denver Nuggets seemed to make the Avalanche an ideal situation.

But the Avs opted to go with the scoring threat in MacKinnon, while the Preds felt lucky to get Jones at the fourth spot.

Both talents cracked their respective club's opening day roster, with MacKinnon notching two assists in Colorado's 6-1 rout of Anaheim.

"I was a little nervous at first. I was fighting a little bit early on, but I figured I needed to stop thinking too hard and just kind of react to the game and not over think anything," said the 18-year-old MacKinnon, who helped set up both of Jamie McGinn's goals.

Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Steve Downie all added goals in the season opener and Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves to give Patrick Roy a victory in his coaching debut.

And it was quite a debut for Roy, who got into a shouting match with Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau after he felt Anaheim's Ben Lovejoy delivered a knee-on-knee hit to MacKinnon.

Roy nearly toppled over the glass partition separating the clubs and was called "classless" by Boudreau as he accused Roy of yapping at his players.

Roy was fined $10,000 by the NHL on Thursday, but disputed Boudreau's claims as to what happened.

"I love my players and I will always love my players," Roy said Thursday after practice. "It was what needed to be done. I thought that was something that was inappropriate."

Jones had a less-eventful debut in Thursday night's 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Playing on his 19th birthday, he was a plus-2 over 18 minutes and 35 seconds of ice time while getting credited with three shots and a hit.

"I didn't really have any (butterflies)," said Jones. "I felt good, I felt confident. I knew it was going to be fast out there and St. Louis likes to play a very fast game."

The Blues did indeed play fast, scoring three times on six shots to chase Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne less than 10 minutes into the game. Carter Hutton made 21 saves in relief as goals by Mike Fisher and David Legwand pulled Nashville to within one before St. Louis tacked on a power-play goal in the second period.

"I thought we outplayed them in the first period aside from them capitalizing on their opportunities," Nashville forward Eric Nystrom said. "We knew we had good jump but ultimately we fell short."

Nashville went 1-1-1 in three meetings with Colorado last season, but has still won 12 of 12 and 13 of the previous 18 meetings.

Both losses last season came in Denver.

The Avalanche could tonight be without captain Gabriel Landeskog, who is questionable with a leg injury and did not practice on Thursday.

10/04 10:56:38 ET

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Scoreboard
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1st
CHA 16
ORL 17
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
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CHA 16
ORL 17
 
1st
PHI 16
PHO 7
 
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ATL
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GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
UTEP
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SDST
AFA
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SJST
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
 
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
WVU 70
BC 66
 
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
Final
YALE 70
ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
2nd
HAMP 71
ALCOR 63
 
1st
ODU 21
LSU 28
 
1st
KENT 16
BU 12
 
1st
SCAR 17
CHAR 13
 
1st
UVA 13
GWU 13
 
1st
WCU 18
HIWASSEE 15
 
1st
GT 15
MAST 11
 
1st
RIDE 11
LEH 18
 
1st
MSU 17
LOYC 2
 
1st
CMICH 22
MAINE 13
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
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BAY 17
PVU 14
 
1st
HOF 14
USB 10
 
1st
OREG 23
TOL 19
 
1st
UGA 29
TROY 16
 
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STAN 16
UNLV 3
 
1st
FAIR 6
WOFF 9
 
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YOUNG
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AMER
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10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
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11:59pm Tonight
HAW
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1st
CLB 1
BOS 0
 
1st
PIT 1
NYI 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
NJD