Venue: Pepsi Center
The Philadelphia Flyers had a lengthy win streak snapped over the weekend, but they have a chance to extend another when they begin their longest trip of the season.
The Flyers, however, will have another player out of the lineup during their attempt at a sixth straight road win Monday night against a Colorado Avalanche team that's proved very difficult to beat in Denver lately.
After winning seven in a row for the first time in nearly a decade, Philadelphia (20-8-3) was routed 6-0 by Boston on Saturday in a chippy affair that featured a combined 105 penalty minutes, including a season-high 43 for the home team.
"We weren't as sharp as we had been, whether it was line changes or coverage, assignments, whether it might be against a team that was here waiting, eyeballing us," coach Peter Laviolette said. "It was a tough day for us, not typical of the way we were playing or executing."
If it can rebound from that effort, Laviolette's club would match the third-longest road win streak in team history. The Flyers have won six straight away from home five times, most recently Jan. 5-Feb. 5, 2008.
Philadelphia, though, won't have top draft pick Sean Couturier available Monday after the center was hit in the back of the helmet by teammate Kimmo Timonen's shot late in the first period Saturday.
Couturier was taken to a hospital for observation and is not expected to travel to Denver. Colorado native Ben Holmstrom was recalled Sunday to take his place on the roster.
"Fortunately, it hit him in the helmet," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We thought it was best to send him to the hospital and get him checked. The little testing they do, he did really well."
The Flyers have already lost captain Chris Pronger for the season because of severe post-concussion syndrome, and leading scorer Claude Giroux is out indefinitely with a concussion.
With those injuries piling up, Philadelphia will open a five-game trip by facing an Avalanche team that's seeking its first six-game home win streak since Oct. 1-Nov. 6, 2009. The Avs have won four in a row against the Flyers at the Pepsi Center.
After suffering its ninth consecutive road defeat, Colorado (15-17-1) bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Washington on Saturday as Erik Johnson scored his first goal of the season and assisted on Cody McLeod's first.
"It started that we that we were good on the road and not so good at home. Now we've haven't been as good on the road and better at home," Johnson said. "It's just the nature of the beast, the nature of the game sometimes. When we play a full 60-minute game, it makes a difference. We've been doing that lately."
After using backup goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Saturday, Colorado might give Semyon Varlamov his second career start against the Flyers. He was pulled from the first after allowing four goals in a 6-5 overtime defeat for Washington on Oct. 6, 2009, and he's 1-3-0 with a 4.63 goals-against average in his last four starts overall.
Flyers starter Ilya Bryzgalov is 4-0-1 with a 1.58 GAA in his last five starts against Colorado, while backup Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves during a 4-2 home victory in his only meeting with the Avalanche on Oct. 11, 2010.
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