Colorado Avalanche (20-7-0) at Vancouver Canucks (16-10-5)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 8, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -152 / Colorado Avalanche +138 --- Over/Under: 5
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At 20-7-0 on the season it's still hard to believe that the Colorado Avalanche don't seem to be getting a lot of respect. A lot of people have chalked the Avalanche's early season play up as a fluke and something that is bound to come back down to earth as the season progressess. That might very well happen but if the Avalanche keep getting solid goaltending most nights and continue to play defense there's no reason to think that this can't continue. Colorado is an impressive sixth in the NHL in goals against per game and the impressive part is that it hasn't come at the expense of their offense. The Avalanche are seventh in the league in goals per game with an average of 2.96. They rebounded nicely from their debacle in Edmonton the other night with a solid road win over the Calgary Flames. Trailing 1-0 after the first period the Avalanche got goals from Max Talbot and P.A. Parenteau in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Nathan MacKinnon's sixth of the season early in the third proved to be the game winner as the Avalanche hung on for a 3-2 win. J.S. Giguere improved to 7-0-0 on the year as the veteran back up poste 26 saves in the victory. Now the Avalanche head to Vancouver to take on a Canucks club that has won three straight and four of their last five.
Friday night's win over the Phoenix Coyotes didn't come exactly how the Canucks would have hoped after they jumped out to a lead. Vancouver got second period goals from Jason Garrison and Henrik Sedin to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. Phoenix scored twice in a little over two minutes to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime. It looked headed for a shootout before Chris Higgins scored the game winner at 3:41 of the extra frame. Roberto Luongo picked up his 13th win of the year with 37 saves. Despite Vancouver picking up these victories of late they haven't been in dominating fashion. Colorado is getting some good value here in a game that should be decided by a goal either way.