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2014 NHL Playoffs: MacKinnon lifts Avs to 4-2 win, 2-0 series lead over Wild

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Nathan MacKinnon has given Avs fans plenty to cheer about with seven points through two games. (Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon has taken a liking to the playoffs in his first go-round. (Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Patrick Roy knows a bit about making a playoff impression at an early age.

The coach of the Colorado Avalanche was just 20 when he stepped between the pipes and led the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1986.

But even he has to be amazed at what Nathan MacKinnon is doing to the Minnesota Wild.

The 18-year-old sensation followed up a three-point Game 1 with a record-setting four-point encore to lead the Avs to a 4-2 win over the Wild Saturday night. The victory gives Colorado a commanding 2-0 lead as the series heads to Minnesota.

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  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • Late rally by Avalanche takes Game 1 from Wild, 5-4, in overtime

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    By Jared Crozier

    Like most of the other first round games, offense was the big story — the Avalanche and the Wild combined for nine goals in Game 1. Normally an up-tempo shootout would be to Colorado’s advantage, but the Avs struggled early and trailed 4-2 by the end of the second period. Eventually, Minnesota allowed Colorado too many chances and paid dearly for it when Paul Stastny scored the tying goal in the final seconds of the third period. He went on to score the game-winner for the Avalanche in OT.

    Here are some notes and observations from an action-packed Game 1:

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild

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    Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche

    Don’t expect goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and the Avalanche to wilt under pressure. (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    Regular-season recaps

    Nov. 29: Avalanche 3, Wild 1

    Nov. 30: Avalanche 3, Wild 2 (SO)

    Dec. 14: Wild 2, Avalanche 1 (SO)

    Jan. 11: Avalanche 4, Wild 2

    Jan. 30: Avalanche 5, Wild 4

    Notable injuries

    Avalanche: F Matt Duchene (bruised knee, likely out for series), D Jan Hejda (upper body, day-to-day), F Alex Tanguay (hip surgery, out for season), D Cory Sarich (back spasms, day-to-day)

    Wild: G Darcy Kuemper (upper body, day-to-day), G Josh Harding (complications from multiple sclerosis, day-to-day), Nicklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery, out for series), F Jason Zucker (quadriceps, out for series)

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • Colorado goalie Varlamov breaks Patrick Roy’s single-season wins record

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    Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Semyon Varlamov broke Patrick Roy’s record with his 41st victory of the season. (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    By Mike McMahon

    The Colorado Avalanche were the bottom-feeders in the Western Conference during last year’s shortened season. Now, the Avs find themselves atop the Central Division with just two games left to play, thanks in large part to the performance of their goaltender, Semyon Varlamov.

    Varlamov recorded his 41st victory of the season on Thursday night after making 38 saves against the Vancouver Canucks in a 4-2 win. The W breaks the franchise record previously held by the man who stands behind Colorado’s bench, the legendary Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, who set the mark during the 2000-2001 season.

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • GIF: Blues’ Backes goes after Avs’ MacKinnon in midst of heated game

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    By Amy Lilek

    The St. Louis Blues play a tough and physical style of hockey and on Saturday afternoon, Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon found out just how physical the Blues can be.

    Late in the third period with the Avs leading 3-0, MacKinnon knocked down David Backes and the Blues captain allowed his frustrations to boil over. Backes dropped his gloves and went after the 18-year-old rookie.

    MacKinnon left the ice and went straight to the Avalanche locker room. He did not return to the game, which Colorado won 4-0.

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  • Published On Apr 05, 2014
  • Matt Duchene of Colorado Avalanche out four weeks with injury

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    Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche

    Matt Duchene, who leads the Avalanche with 70 points, won’t return until the playoffs. (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Despite a solid 3-2 win over the Sharks, the Avalanche took a couple of lumps on Saturday night. Center Ryan O’Reilly lost his bid to make it through the entire season penalty-free when he was called for, of all things, playing with a broken stick. (Come on, stripes, it was a bogus call and you know it.) And first-line center Matt Duchene skated all of one shift before he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn and was forced him to leave the game.

    As it turns out, the Duchene incident will have an impact going forward.

    Colorado announced at practice on Monday morning that Duchene, the club’s leading scorer, will miss approximately four weeks with a knee injury. With the playoffs two weeks away and a postseason date with the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks all but booked, it’s not exactly the most fortuitous timing.

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  • Published On Mar 31, 2014
  • Matt Duchene leaves with left knee injury as Avalanche clinch playoff spot

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    By Amy Lilek

    The Colorado Avalanche punched their ticket to the playoffs today, but they did it without one of their key players.

    Center Matt Duchene injured his left knee in a collision with teammate Jamie McGinn on his first shift just 32 seconds into the game against the San Jose Sharks. He limped straight to the bench but soon left for the dressing room and did not return.

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  • Published On Mar 29, 2014
  • Patrick Roy returns to Montreal for first time as coach of the Avalanche

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    By Darian Somers

    Patrick Roy, the legendary goalie for the Canadiens from 1984 to 1995, has returned to Montreal to take on the franchise he backstopped to two Stanley Cups before it famously traded him after a humiliating incident that made him angrily tell Habs president Ronald Corey that he would never play for the Habs again.

    Tonight marks the first time that Roy has visited Montreal’s arena as an enemy coach, but according to him, he reconciled with the Canadiens when his No. 33 was raised to the rafters of the Molson Centre (since renamed the Bell Centre) in 2008. Roy dramatically attended that ceremony and was warmly welcomed.

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Ducks score six goals in 2nd period to beat Avs in wild game

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    (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

    The Ducks and Avs combined for a nine-goal second period, as the Ducks went on to win 6-4. (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

    By Mike McMahon 

    The last time the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks faced off, it was on the first night of regular season action and the two teams went on to provide plenty of it. And though no fights broke out between the two coaches this time, Friday night still brought its fair share of drama.

    The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead into the 2nd period. That’s when the fireworks started. The two teams would go back and forth in the 2nd period, lighting the lamp nine times, with Anaheim tallying six of their own to take a 6-4 lead into the 3rd. Four of those six goals for the Ducks were scored in just 4:06, with forward Kyle Palmieri potting two of his own in just :47 seconds, followed by one each from Corey Perry and Ben Lovejoy.

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  • Published On Mar 15, 2014
  • Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau to miss 4-to-6 weeks with knee injury

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    By Nick Stoico

    Colorado Avalanche winger P.A. Parenteau will be out of commission for four-to-six weeks with a knee injury.

    Parenteau, who missed 10 games earlier in the season due to a medial collateral ligament issue in his left knee, sprained his right MCL during an on-ice collision during his first shift on Monday night against Winnipeg. The forward did return to the ice on a power play later in the game, but did not last long before leaving the ice once again.

    It is also important to note that Colorado center Paul Stastny did not dress on Monday because of a back injury. According to NHL.com, Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations Patrick Roy said the team has called up Paul Carey and Brad Malone from Colorado’s AHL affiliate the Lake Erie Monsters.

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  • Published On Mar 11, 2014


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