The Colorado Avalanche look to match the best start in franchise history when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Colorado has become the surprise team of the NHL, beginning the season with six victories after finishing last in the Western Conference in 2012-13 with a 16-25-7 record. The Avalanche aim to equal the franchise's 7-0-0 start in 1985-86 when it was known as the Quebec Nordiques.
What makes the team's start more amazing is that it's being led by a first-year coach in Patrick Roy, who helped Colorado win a pair of Stanley Cups during his Hall-of-Fame career. Roy and Mario Tremblay of the 1995-96 Montreal Canadiens are the only coaches in history to begin their NHL careers with six straight wins. The Red Wings, who are off to a fast start in their first season in the East, enter with a three-game winning streak.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN (Detroit), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (5-2-0): Jonas Gustavsson could make his third consecutive start as Jimmy Howard is listed as questionable with a bruised left hand. Captain Henrik Zetterberg has stormed out of the gate, recording team highs of five goals and nine points in his first seven games. Detroit has won its last three meetings with Colorado, all by one goal.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (6-0-0): Nathan MacKinnon, the first overall pick in last June's draft, is tied with Matt Duchene and PA Parenteau for the team lead with seven points. The 18-year-old has recorded at least one point in five of his six games and scored his first career goal Saturday at Washington. Semyon Varlamov has been outstanding in goal, posting a 5-0-0 record with a 1.20 goals-against average and league-leading .965 save percentage.
1. The Avalanche have allowed a league-low six goals in six games.
2. Varlamov is six wins away from matching his total from last season.
3. Duchene enters with a three-game goal-scoring streak and a team-high five tallies.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 3, Red Wings 2