Flames-Avalanche Preview

The Associated Press

The Colorado Avalanche have become accustomed to winning, so they're eager to bounce back after their worst defensive performance of the season.

Considering how Calgary has played on the road, the Flames might be rather accommodating.

Matt Duchene and the Avalanche look to recover from a rare loss by sending the Flames to a third straight defeat to cap their road trip Friday night.

Colorado (12-2-0) is undergoing one of the most impressive turnarounds in the NHL after finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference last season.

Under first-year coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche are among the best teams in the league and they're getting used to success.

"When you have a taste of winning - to use a bad analogy - it's like a drug. You crave it more and more," Duchene said after Wednesday's 6-4 home loss to Nashville. "It feels terrible (to lose) and we've felt this twice this year and it feels awful. It feels that much worse. When you're used to losing, it's just another game, but when you're used to winning it hurts that much more."

The Avalanche had only allowed more than two goals once before Wednesday, and surrendered a total of nine during their six-game winning streak.

Duchene, meanwhile, continues to be one of the key offensive forces behind Colorado's turnaround, leading the team with 10 goals and 17 points. The center has totaled seven of those goals with four assists in eight home games after scoring once and recording two assists against the Predators.

P.A. Parenteau also has been much better at home than on the road. Of his 10 points, eight have come at Pepsi Center, including two goals and one assist over the past two contests.

He could have a good chance to continue that production against the Flames (6-8-2) since he's accumulated two goals and nine assists with a plus-5 rating in six career meetings.

Duchene failed to collect a point over the last two matchups with Calgary after recording seven in the seven prior meetings.

The Flames haven't done a good job keeping anyone off the scoreboard away from home. They've allowed 3.7 goals per game on the road - worst in the West - and fell for the fourth time in five games away from Calgary with Thursday's 3-2 loss at St. Louis.

The power play has been an issue at any venue recently. The Flames have failed to score on their last 28 attempts spanning eight games after going 0 for 6 against the Blues.

"I'd like to buy one," coach Bob Hartley said of the drought. "I know that the guys are working hard. It seems we just can't turn the red light on."

Michael Cammalleri, though, is providing some offense with five goals in nine games after finding the net for the second time in three contests Thursday. The center has four goals over the past three meetings with the Avalanche, including one in each of the last two at Colorado.

Jiri Hudler has been on a tear against Calgary, totaling five goals and as many assists over his last four matchups. He enters this one after finding the net in back-to-back games.

David Jones spent his first six NHL seasons with the Avalanche, and is expected to make his return to Denver after being traded to Calgary over the summer. The right wing has three goals and two assists with the Flames, and he's two seasons removed from back-to-back 20-goal campaigns.

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