Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is one of the NHL players who will be working through the Olympic break, and he’s probably just fine with that given his recent production.
The Avalanche captain and Swedish Olympian will try to match a career-best eight-game point streak Thursday night when Colorado tries to get back on track in Philadelphia against the Flyers.
Landeskog has 22 points in his last 21 games after scoring in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. The third-year forward’s production is up to 0.82 points per game after he averaged 0.58 in his first two.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Avalanche (36-15-5), who are in the middle of a four-game East Coast swing before the break. They beat New Jersey 2-1 in overtime the night before the loss to the Rangers, but being overworked wasn’t an acceptable excuse for coach Patrick Roy as his team fell behind 2-0 in the first period.
"We talk a lot about the start of the game is key, but the Rangers came out flying, and they got the momentum from the first shift and then kept it until the end of the first," Roy told the team’s official website. "They played a really good game. They were sharp. They were the better team on the ice, without a doubt."
Landeskog’s second-period goal was assisted by Paul Stastny and rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who has a season-best six-game point streak with three goals and six assists.
Semyon Varlamov had a personal four-game winning streak snapped. He faced 43 shots and kept the game scoreless early despite a 16-2 shot advantage for the Rangers.
Philadelphia (28-23-6) returns home hoping to ride the momentum built on a 2-1-0 West Coast trip against Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. A 5-2 win over the Sharks on Monday gave the Flyers their third victory in four games.
Steve Mason has been in goal for all four and has a 1.51 goals-against average with two shutouts in those games. He made 20 stops against the Sharks.
"That was a great overall trip," said Mason, whose team opened the trip with a 5-3 loss to the Ducks. "Even the game in Anaheim, I thought we played better than the score indicated. Being able to go into L.A. and get a big win there, and then overall (Monday) I thought was just a great game from start to finish.
"We weren’t rewarded with the goals early on, but the guys stuck with it. These are the type of victories that feel good."
Matt Read, Michael Raffl, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek all scored third-period goals as the Flyers recovered from a 2-1 deficit while defenseman Mark Streit’s first-period goal extended the Flyers’ streak of games with a power-play goal to seven – one shy of their season high.
Giroux added a pair of assists and has nine of his team-high 55 points in his last five games.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen missed the last two games of the trip and is questionable with a foot injury. Colorado forward Alex Tanguay is with the team but has missed three games with a knee injury and is also questionable.
The Avalanche won the first meeting with the Flyers 2-1 on Jan. 2.