Avalanche-Devils Preview

A successful first road trip last season helped propel the

Colorado Avalanche to an eventual playoff berth.

Seeking similar results on their first trip of this season, the

Avalanche continue a grueling road stretch Friday night against the

banged-up New Jersey Devils, who are trying to build on their first


Colorado’s 4-1-2 mark on its first road swing of 2009-10 last

October sparked the club to a 95-point season. The Avalanche are in

the midst of another early season trek, as they’re two games into a

busy five-game road stretch.

Colorado (2-1-0) lost 4-2 at Philadelphia on Monday before

beating Detroit 5-4 the next evening. Brandon Yip scored in the

sixth round of the shootout as Colorado came away with two points

after falling behind three times.

“We did a good job of keeping it simple and outworking them,”

said forward David Jones, who had two goals and an assist for a

career high-tying three points.

After getting two days off following those games, the Avalanche

play three times in four days to close the trip as they take on all

three New York City-area teams.

First up are the Devils, who won’t have forward Brian Rolston

for four to six weeks after he underwent sports hernia surgery

Thursday. New Jersey will also likely be without defensemen Anton

Volchenkov (broken nose) and Mark Fraser (broken right hand) on


The depleted club recalled three players from its AHL affiliate

Thursday after signing forward Adam Mair on Tuesday.

The loss of Rolston is a big one as New Jersey (1-2-1) has seven

goals on the season.

It didn’t help that Martin Brodeur had an uncharacteristically

high 4.11 goals-against average in his first three starts, but he

helped lead the Devils past Buffalo 1-0 on Wednesday with 24


Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal of the season 53 seconds

into overtime.

“We’ve had a lot of changes,” Brodeur said. “We’ve had injuries.

It’s been chaotic a little bit. So for us to finally get one under

our belt, now we can start playing our season.”

Brodeur seems likely to be in net Friday to try for his third

win in four games against the Avalanche. He was outplayed by Craig

Anderson in a 3-1 defeat in Denver on Jan. 16, and that could be

the matchup in goal again in this game.

Anderson, though, has given up three goals in each of his first

two games and sat in place of Peter Budaj on Tuesday. Anderson is

2-1-1 with a 2.69 GAA in four appearances against the Devils, while

Budaj has never faced them.

Anderson’s 37 saves in last season’s matchup helped the

Avalanche win for the second time in six meetings with Devils.

The Avalanche are 2-6-2 at New Jersey since relocating from

Quebec for the 1995-96 season.