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
“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.