by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

FLYERS (1-0-0) at AVALANCHE (1-0-0)


The Game

Center Sean Couturier will play his 500th NHL game when the Philadelphia Flyers play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday. Couturier, who is in his eighth season with the Flyers, set NHL career highs last season with 76 points (31 goals, 45 assists) in 82 games.

Calvin Pickard, whom the Flyers claimed on waivers Monday from the Toronto Maple Leafs, took part in the morning skate and will back up Brian Elliott. The Flyers loaned goalie Anthony Stolarz to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League to make room for Pickard.

Goalie Semyon Varlamov will make his second start for the Avalanche. He had 20 saves Thursday in Colorado's 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. Varlamov has a 3-2-1 record against Philadelphia with a 3.00 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

Players to watch
Elliott made 23 saves Thursday in Philadelphia's 5-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights. He has a 9-2-2 record against Colorado with one shutout, a 2.10 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had eight shots and scored the game-winning goal Thursday against Minnesota. He matched Joe Sakic's franchise record last season with 12 game-winning goals.

They said it
"We're playing against a team that plays with a lot of team speed, maybe even more than Vegas in terms of the way they play. Our defense did a good job in game No. 1 and now the challenge is for our group to go out and do a solid job again." -- Flyers coach Dave Hakstol

"(The Flyers) work hard, they go to the net hard, pressure the puck hard. They look like they're a handful. There'll be times when we'll have to collapse in front of our net because they come to the net pretty hard." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

Flyers projected lineup
Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom -- Nolan Patrick -- Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk -- Mikhail Vorobyev -- Wayne Simmonds

Scott Laughton -- Jori Lehtera -- Michael Raffl

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Ivan Provorov

Andrew MacDonald -- Robert Hagg

Travis Sanheim -- Christian Folin

Brian Elliott

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Radko Gudas, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body)

Avalanche projected lineup
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Alexander Kerfoot -- Tyson Jost -- Colin Wilson

Sheldon Dries -- J.T. Compher -- Matt Calvert

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Gabriel Bourque

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie

Mark Barberio -- Ian Cole

Semyon Varlamov

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: None

Injured: Sven Andrighetto (leg), Patrik Nemeth (upper body)

Status report
Neuvirth faced shots in the morning skate but isn't ready to play … Folin will make his Flyers debut, replacing Gudas. He signed a one-year contract as a free agent July 5 … Barberio will make his season debut, replacing Nemeth, who was injured Thursday against Minnesota.

Stat pack

The Flyers have won their past three games at Pepsi Center. … The Avalanche are 19-4-1 in their past 24 regular-season home games.