Feb 6, 2014 10:00 AM by Greg Smith
AVALANCHE (36-15-5) at FLYERS (28-23-6)
TV: Altitude, CSN Phialdelphia
Last 10: Colorado 7-3-0; Philadelphia 4-4-2
Season series: Thursday's game is the second and final this season between Philadelphia and Colorado. Jamie McGinn and Ryan O'Reilly each had goals in the Avalanche's 2-1 win Jan. 2 at Pepsi Center.
Big story: The Flyers hope their strong play in a 2-1-0 swing lastthrough California last week carries over to their final games before the 2014 Olympic break. As one of the teams jammed into the fight for one of the final Eastern Conference playoff spots, every point for Philadelphia is vital between now and April.
The Avs are rolling (4-1-0 in their past five games; 10-3-1 in their last 14) but are looking to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday. Colorado is 6-2-0 in its past eight road games and 17-8-2 away from home this year (.667).
Forward Max Talbot will play against the Flyers for the first time since Colorado acquired him midseason via trade on Oct. 31.
Avalanche: It may have been the second game of a back-to-back set Tuesday and Colorado did go to overtime Monday in defeating the New Jersey Devils, but Colorado coach Patrick Roy wasn't accepting any excuses for his team's loss to the Rangers.
"We talk a lot about the start of the game is key, but the Rangers came out flying, and they got the momentum from the first shift and then kept it until the end of the first," he said. "They played a really good game. They were sharp. They were the better team on the ice, without a doubt."
The Rangers scored twice in that period and led 20-4 in shots at the intermission. The Avalanche wasn't ever able to recover, even after Gabriel Landeskog's power-play goal at 6:37 of the second period. The Rangers scored 53 seconds later.
"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot there in the second," said Landeskog, who extended his point streak to seven games, one shy of a career high set from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8. "We had the chance there to get back in it."
Flyers: After a five-day break defenseman Kimmo Timonen skated with his teammates Wednesday at practice, but his sore foot has him questionable for the game against the Avalanche. He skated with Hal Gill on a fourth defense pairing.
"Felt pretty good," Timonen said. "First full practice in six days. We'll see how it feels [Wednesday and Thursday] and go from there."
Timonen has sat out the past two games since blocking a shot with his left foot Jan. 31 against the Anaheim Ducks. He said he'd like to get into the Flyers' final two games before the Olympic break (Thursday against the Avalanche and Saturday against the Calgary Flames) to assess his ability to play for Finland in this month's Games.
Who's hot: Landeskog, the Avalanche's captain, has three goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak after scoring his 17th of the season Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. He's the first Avalanche player to have two point streaks of at least seven games in the same season since Andrew Brunette had streaks of 11 and eight games in the 2006-07 season. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon's primary assist on Landeskog's score extended his career-high points streak to six games (three goals, five assists). He leads all NHL rookies in goals (20) and assists (22)....
Flyers captain Claude Giroux has four goals and nine points in his past five games.
Injury report: Avalanche defenseman Cory Sarich (back) is on Injured Reserve. Forward Alex Tanguay (knee) is on the trip but questionable. ... Timonen (foot) is questionable for the Flyers.