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Penguins vs. Avalanche Scouting Report

Monday, 11.14.2011 / 7:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Avalanche Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 5-1-1-11
Road: 5-3-2-12

WHEN: Nov. 15, 2011 - 7:30 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
Versus  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Colorado Avalanche
Home: 2-6-0-4

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche 






Matt Duchene
C  -  #9
  6 Goals
  7 Assists
  13 Points
• Has come on strong in November, collecting four goals and seven points in the first six games of the month to take over the team scoring lead with a total of 13 points.

• Became just the second Avalanche player to record a hat trick before his 21st birthday when he scored three goals (and tallied a career-high four points) in Colorado’s 7-6 overtime loss to Dallas on Nov. 4.

• The third-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft was the youngest player in franchise history to lead the team in scoring last season, collecting 67 points (27G-40A) in 80 games.
Ryan O'Reilly
C  -  #37
  2 Goals
  10 Assists
  12 Points
• Leads the club with a 56.2-percent success rate on his draws, helping Colorado have the league’s second-highest winning percentage (53.3 percent) in the faceoff dot.

• The 20-year-old center tied for the team lead with eight points (1G-7A) in October.

• Colorado’s second-round pick (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft became
the youngest player in Avalanche history when he made his league debut at 18 years, 236 days on Oct. 1, 2009.
Gabriel Landeskog
LW  -  #92
  5 Goals
  3 Assists
  8 Points
• Leads all NHL rookies (and the Avalanche) with 61 shots, with his 43 shots in October being the most-ever by an Avalanche/Nordiques rookie in that month.

• The highest draft pick in Avalanche history – selected second overall by Colorado in the 2011 NHL Draft – became the youngest Swedish-born player in NHL history to score a goal.

Two of the 18-year-old’s five goals this year were tying markers with under two minutes remaining in a game to force overtime, and Colorado went on to win both games in a shootout.
The Colorado Avalanche enter Tuesday’s game with the Penguins on the skids, having lost four of their last five games. But with that being said, the Avs also come to CONSOL Energy Center having been absolute road warriors so far this season as they’re currently tied with the Nashville Predators for the most road points in the NHL (13).

The Avs opened the year by winning their first six road games, the longest road winning streak to start a season in franchise history, and are currently 6-2-1 in their opponents’ arenas. However, their shaky showings at home are the reason behind their current residence in the bottom of the Western Conference standings, as Colorado has a league-worst 2-6-0 record in their own arena.

It’s been a season filled with extremes for Colorado thus far. Not only are their home and road records are drastically different, but their special teams play is as well. The Avalanche currently have the league’s top-ranked power play, which has converted 16 of 59 opportunities (27.1 percent) – including an incredible 12 of 29 on the road, a 41.4-percent success rate. But while they’ve been clicking on the man-advantage, they’ve been stumbling while shorthanded as they have the league’s third-worst penalty kill – allowing 14 goals on 59 attempts.

But while they’ve been struggling as of late, the Avalanche began the season with the league’s second-youngest team and have plenty of blossoming talent on their roster – led by the 20-year-old Matt Duchene. He’s been really heating up for the Avalanche this month, as he enters Tuesday’s contest with four goals and seven points in his last six games.

They’ve also got the perfect complement to their youthfulness in veteran leader in Milan Hejduk, who was named just the fifth captain in Avalanche franchise history on Monday and will wear the ‘C’ for the first time in Pittsburgh. Hejduk is riding a three-game goal streak and currently leads Colorado with seven tallies (four coming on the power play).

Goalie Semyon Varlamov has tailed off after a strong start to the season, as he’s surrendered 19 goals during a personal five-game winless streak (0-4-1). The former Capitals goalie, acquired by Colorado this summer, hasn't posted a victory since a 3-2 win against Los Angeles on Oct. 30. It’s uncertain whether Varlamov or capable backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who’s 3-1 on the season, will be in goal against Pittsburgh.
  • The Penguins enter Tuesday's game with a perfect 5-0-2 record against the Western Conference this season.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, Colorado improved to 5-0 against Eastern Conference teams (4-0 on the road) with its 4-3 overtime win against the Islanders on Nov. 10. The Avs are 25-10-6 against Eastern Conference opponents since 2009-10 and 53-30-6 since 2005-06.
  • Dating back to a 2-1 overtime win against Los Angeles on Feb. 10 of last season, the Penguins are unbeaten in their last 13 games against Western Conference teams (9-0-4). Pittsburgh’s last regulation loss to a team from the West was a 4-1 setback against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 8, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center.
  • The Penguins enter Saturday's game with a four-game home winning streak. During that streak the Penguins are outscoring foes 12-5. Dating back to last season the Penguins have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 home games.
  • The Avalanche opened the year by winning their first six road games, the longest road winning streak to start a season in franchise history. The previous record was four straight road wins by Quebec to open the 1985-86 campaign. Colorado's six-game road winning streak was the club's longest since 2001-02 and fell just one shy of tying the franchise record of seven straight road games with a win.
  • The Avs finished 5-0 on their season-long five-game road trip from Oct. 10-17, the best road trip of at least five games in franchise history. The previous mark was 4-0-1 on two occasions. Two NHL teams went unblemished on a road trip of at least five games last year, the Bruins (6 games) and Canucks (5 games).
  • The Avalanche has scored multiple power-play goals in three of their last five games. After starting the year 0-for-10 in their first three games, the Avalanche has gone 16-for-49 (32.7%) with the man advantage over the last 14 games. The Avalanche has scored a power-play goal in nine of their 17 games, going 5-3-1 in those contests. Colorado is 3-5-0 when failing to score.




2010-11 STAT CHART

F Sidney Crosby, concussion
F Tyler Kennedy, concussion
D Ben Lovejoy, broken wrist
D Zbynek Michalek, broken finger
D Brian Strait, hyper-extended elbow
Neal (11) Hejduk (7)
Letang (13) O'Reilly (10)
Neal (17)
Duchene (13)
Engelland (16) O'Brien (33)
Dupuis/Staal (5) Wilson (3)
Neal (5) Hejduk (4)
Four with (1)
Winnik/Kobasew (1)
Fleury (9-2-1)
Varlamov (5-7-1)
Fleury (1.87) Varlamov (3.08)
Fleury (.932) Varlamov (.897)

F Peter Mueller, head
F Mark Olver, head
F Brandon Yip, arm





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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