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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 2nd (All times Eastern)

Anaheim Ducks (0-0-0) at Colorado Avalanche (0-0-0), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - If 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon needs advice on how to handle opening night in Colorado, new head coach Patrick Roy certainly has some wisdom to lend the youngster.

MacKinnon will be in Roy's lineup on Wednesday night as the two make their Avalanche debuts in the opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

After missing out on the postseason for a third straight year, the Avalanche fired head coach Joe Sacco and replaced him with Roy, who won two of his four Stanley Cup titles with Colorado in 1996 and 2001.

Roy was part of the offseason overhaul that also saw former teammate Joe Sakic hired as executive vice president of hockey operations.

The 47-year-old Roy retired following the 2002-03 season and later became the general manager, coach and co-owner of his hometown Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2005. He led the club to the Memorial Cup title in his first season at the helm and will now try to succeed as a coach at the NHL level.

"I'm excited about the game, to be honest with you," said Roy. "It's the first game -- this is the date I would say that I put a circle around and I was looking forward to. I like the way the team has played in the preseason games. The guys have played really well. I just felt that we were getting better and better along the way, and I'm curious to see (Wednesday) how we're going to be as a team at the same time."

Sakic and Roy did inherit a club that owned the top overall pick in the draft for and the Avs spent that selection on MacKinnon to join the young core of captain Gabriel Landeskog and forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly.

Just 17 years of age at the time of his selection, MacKinnon had 32 goals and 75 points in 44 regular-season games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL last year. He added another seven goals and 13 points in four playoff games to help his club capture the Memorial Cup.

"It's going to be cool. I don't really know how I'm going to feel yet. Obviously there's going to be some butterflies," said MacKinnon, who added his family will be in attendance for his first three games.

"I'm really looking forward to it. Preseason was fun, but this is the real deal. I think as a team we're very confident going into the season."

Colorado, which will open the season without defenseman Ryan Wilson due to a knee injury, will also host Nashville on Friday before playing three straight on the road.

For the Ducks, they will play their first three games of the season away from home. Anaheim also will visit Minnesota and Winnipeg this weekend and will play 11 of its first 16 games this season away from the Honda Center.

A few veterans on the Ducks think that could be a good thing as long as the club wins.

"You get away from the hassle," said Anaheim forward Saku Koivu. "You can really focus on the first couple games. We spend two days in between the first and second games, get some time as a team, some bonding time. Obviously, if you can get some wins, it's a really good thing to start on the road. But obviously that is the one thing is that we have to make sure we come out with some points."

The Ducks open their 20th anniversary season coming off their second ever Pacific Division title and first since their Cup-winning 2006-07 season. However, they were bounced out in the first round of the 2013 playoffs by Detroit.

Anaheim didn't make a lot of offseason moves, but the one headline grabber was the trade of forward Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators for young winger Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in the 2014 draft.

Silfverberg will try to replace Ryan's 30-goal production and on Tuesday skated on a line with veteran Teemu Selanne and center Mathieu Perreault, who was acquired from the Washington Capitals in a trade on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Silfverberg had 10 goals and 19 points in 48 games as a rookie last year.

Selanne, meanwhile, will return for one final NHL season. He is the franchise's all-time leader in several categories, including goals (448), assists (513), points (961) and games played (902). At 43 years and 92 days, he is the NHL's oldest active player and ranks 11th all-time in goals with 675.

Selanne, who spent the 2003-04 season with Colorado, has 36 goals and 76 points in 67 career games versus the Avs.

The Ducks are slated to open the season a little banged up at the blue line. Both Sheldon Souray (right wrist surgery) and Luca Sbisa (sprained left ankle) are out, though defenseman Francois Beauchemin could play tonight despite reconstructive surgery in May on his right knee to repair a torn ligament.

Semyon Varlamov will start this game in net for the Avalanche, while Jonas Hiller is likely to get the call for the Ducks.

The Ducks won two of three versus the Avs a season ago, notching a 3-0 shutout in the lone meeting in Denver. Hiller's backup Viktor Fasth posted 31 saves to record his first career shutout.

10/02 10:45:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
1st
UNC 27
BUT 24
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
1st
UNC 27
BUT 24
 
1st
FRES 15
MAR 28
 
1st
CHAT 19
RMU 20
 
1st
EMICH 32
ROCH 10
 
1:30pm Today
MRGST
LIB
 
2:00pm Today
HAMP
AMER
 
2:00pm Today
BEL
DEN
2:00pm Today
UMASS
NE
2:00pm Today
JMU
SHU
 
2:00pm Today
KNST
SAMF
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
2:30pm Today
OKLA
UCLA
2:30pm Today
CCAR
LAMON
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL