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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche will shoot for a fourth win in five games when they host the Ottawa Senators in Thursdays clash in the Mile High City. Patrick Roys club is 3-1-0 over its last four games and has won six times over the last nine trips to the ice. Despite the recent surge, last seasons Central Division champions are still seven points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Avalanche are coming off an impressive road win, as they posted a 2-0 victory Tuesday night in Chicago. The victory came thanks in large part to goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who made 54 saves to earn his third shutout of the season. Chicago outshot the Avs by a 54-24 margin and the Blackhawks owned a 21-5 edge in shots in the second period after falling behind 2-0 in the first. But Varlamov proved to be up to the task, setting a Colorado record for most saves in a game. The 54 saves were second most in the overall franchise history behind Ron Tugnutts 70 saves for the Quebec Nordiques on March 21, 1991 at Boston. I saw most of the shots. The guys didnt stay in front of me. They gave me a chance to see the puck the whole time, Varlamov said. That was the key. Varlamov is just the third NHL goalie in the expansion era with a shutout of 54 or more saves, joining a group that also includes Edmontons Ben Scrivens and Phoenixs Mike Smith. Varlamov also set the NHL record for the most saves in a regular-season shutout on the road since shots on goal became an official NHL statistic in 1955-56. Nathan MacKinnon and Max Talbot each scored early in the game for the Avalanche, who bounced back from a 4-3 loss to Columbus on Sunday. Colorado needed just 53 seconds to open the scoring as the rebound of John Mitchells shot went right to MacKinnon, who wristed it over the glove of Crawford from the right side of the net. Just 24 seconds later, Talbot slipped in MacKinnons pass off the rush for a 2-0 game. Varlamov expects to get the start again tonight and he owns a 2-2-1 record and 3.21 goals against average in five career outings against the Senators. Colorado is playing the first of two straight on home ice and also will host Dallas on Saturday. The Avs are 9-9-3 at home this season. Ottawa also finds itself outside the playoff conversation in the East, as it sits six points behind the conferences final wild card spot. The Senators lost the opener of a four-game road trip Tuesday in Philadelphia, dropping a shootout decision against the Flyers. The setback dropped Ottawa to 8-10-4 as the visiting team this season and tonight the Sens will try to pick up their first win in Colorado in nearly a decade. Ottawa has lost three straight overtime decisions in Denver since last winning at the Pepsi Center on Dec. 12, 2005. The Senators were able to halt a seven- game overall slide in this series earlier this season, picking up a 5-3 win against a visiting Colorado club on Oct. 16. The Sens grabbed a 1-0 lead on Tuesday after Mike Hoffman scored at the 6:36 mark of the third period. However, Wayne Simmonds tied it up for Philly less than three minutes later. Simmonds would later notch the game-winning shootout marker for the hosts. Craig Anderson made 33 saves in defeat for the Senators, who fell to 2-3-2 over their last seven contests. All I can do is give our team a chance to win at the end of the night, said Anderson. You know you roll the dice in the shootout. Thats kind of how the way things go. Anderson is 1-2-1 with a lofty 5.40 GAA against the Avs, a team he played with for parts of two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Ottawa will continue its trek with Saturdays game in Arizona before capping the swing Tuesday night in Dallas. George King Jersey . 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Top Picks: Following a down year in 2011-2012, Matt Duchene rebounded with his highest points-per-game (0.David Legwand played almost 1,000 games in the NHL wearing jersey No. 11 for the Nashville Predators. But when he signed with the Ottawa Senators this summer, he wasnt going to take his old number back even though it was technically available. Yeah, I mean Alfie wore it forever and its going to go into the rafters here one day as it should. Hes a phenomenal hockey player and its just something you just dont do as a hockey player. It never even crossed my mind, Legwand told me yesterday. Instead, Legwand is going to wear No. 17 for the Senators this season - the same number he wore when he joined the Detroit Red Wings for the final 21 games of the regular season last year. He probably would have taken jersey No. 11 with the Red Wings - except it was already being used by Alfredsson. Legwand says hes not a superstitious guy, but he chose No. 17 now because thats a jersey number he used to wear as a kid. But here in Ottawa, No. 17 hasnt brought a whole lot of luck to any forwards who have worn that sweater number in recent years. In fact, the last forward to wear No. 17 for the Senators for an entire season was Bill Muckalt, who infamously went the entire 2001-02 campaign without scoring a single goal in 70 games. Since then, Denis Hamel was the only other forward to wear No. 17, producing four goals in 43 games in the 2006-07 season when he was shuttled between Binghamton and Ottawa. (It should be noted that defenceman Filip Kuba wore the jersey for parts of four seasons in between). Looking at the last few forwards to wear No. 17 for the Senators, you will notice a distinct trend: Denis Hamel (2006-07): 4 goals in 43 games Bill Muckalt (2001-02): 0 goals in 70 games Eric Lacroix (2000-01) 0 goals in 9 games Colin Forbes (2000-01) 0 goals in 39 games Colin Forbes (1999-00) 2 goals in 45 games Chris Murray (1998-99): 1 goal in 38 games Thats a total of only seven goals scored in 244 games by forwards weearing this jersey number in the last 15 seasons.ddddddddddddOr about one in every 35 games - which means if that curse continues, Legwand would score two - or maybe three - goals this season. However, the smart money is on Legwand having a nice offensive season for the Sens, considering he is coming off a 51-point season last year. Somewhere between 12-15 goals seems like a realistic target for Legwand, who will start the season on the Sens first power play unit. Thats a far cry from Muckalts 2001-02 season, when Roger Neilson - who coached the team for the final two regular season games - put him on the clubs top power play unit in the regular season finale in an attempt to buy Muckalt a goal. That strategy proved fruitless for Muckalt, but Paul MacLean seems very confident in Legwands ability to help the Senators power play. The Sens head coach likes the diversity of having some left-handed shots like Legwand and MacArthur on the first unit power play and believes that Legwand was a driving force in the Senators scoring five goals with the man-advantage in their final two pre-season games. I think David had a lot to do with getting it organized and having things done. Along with Erik, I think the two of them really took charge and said, Listen, heres what were going to do and they went on the ice and did it, MacLean said. Legwand will make his Sens debut on Thursday night in Nashville in a building he is very familiar with, having been the Predators first draft pick back in 1998. This will mark the first time hes been back in the city since the trade that sent him to Detroit on deadline day last spring, although he doesnt sound like he will be too emotional. Its weird going back. Getting traded at 2pm eastern time, I think I was out of there at 7pm and I havent been back since, Legwand told reporters yesterday. Its interesting - its kind of a chapter that is over in our lives and weve moved on. 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|Post Date: 5/14/2019 @ 6:28 pm