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Old 11-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #57
Bronx33
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Default Canucks-Avalanche Nov 3, 2007, 10:00 PM EDT




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The Avalanche are making Colorado one of the worst places to play for visiting teams.

They'll try to set a franchise record with their seventh straight home win to start a season when they meet the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

The Avalanche (8-4-0) beat Pittsburgh 3-2 on Thursday, matching the best home start in franchise history. The team also won six straight on its own ice to begin the 1994-95 season when it was still in Quebec.

"I guess records are always there as a mark to shoot for," defenseman Kurt Sauer told the Avalanche's official Web site. "The big thing is getting that confidence at home. It's always good to come into your own barn feeling good and to be able to come out with a win."

Colorado has scored at least three goals in each of its home games while outscoring opponents 25-13. Saturday's game will be the third on a five-game homestand.

The Avalanche join Philadelphia (4-0) as the only teams which have yet to lose at home.

"There's no question it's an unbelievable start," said Colorado's Ryan Smyth, who had an assist in his 800th game Thursday. "But sometimes it's not how you start, but how you finish.

"We'll feed off the wins we've got here at home and let people know around the league that it's a tough place to come play."

Wotjek Wolski scored against the Penguins and has a career-best eight-game point streak. Fellow forward Joe Sakic extended his point streak to six games with an assist.

The Avalanche have won four straight overall and play 10 of their next 11 against Northwest Division opponents. They have won six of their last eight home games against Vancouver (5-8-0), which is opening a stretch of eight straight games against division foes.

The Canucks have only one win at home this season but are 4-2-0 on the road. They have dropped six of eight overall and are coming off Thursday's 3-0 loss to Nashville - their first shutout defeat of the season.

"You've just got to battle through these things," goalie Roberto Luongo told the Canucks' official Web site. "When things aren't going your way, you just have to work harder during practice and make sure it carries over going into the games.

"Right now we're facing some adversity, but we've got to regroup as a team and come back the next game."

The loss was especially costly for Vancouver, as defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo were both injured.

Bieksa will miss up to eight weeks after sustaining a deep cut on his right calf from the skate of Nashville's Vernon Fiddler. Salo, playing only his fourth game after returning to the lineup from a wrist injury, was hit in the face by a shot from teammate Alex Edler, and it is unclear when he will be able to return.

The Canucks, who also are without defenseman Lukas Krajicek for four weeks because of a broken foot, called up Luc Bourdon from the AHL's Manitoba Moose to fill in on the blue line.

"We're going to play our way through this - that's all we can do right now," coach Alain Vigneault said.


Quick Hits

* The Avalanche won the faceoff battle for the 2nd straight game!
* The Avs are currently at a pace to reach 109 points
* Coloradoís 4th line had 5 points (1g, 4a), 7 of the teamís 11 hits, and 2 blocked shots.

Last edited by Bronx33; 11-03-2007 at 04:18 PM..
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