Wayne Simmonds, celebrates with teammates, from left, Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux (28) and Mark Streit (32) after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. (George Nikitin/AP)
For the first time since the Flyers traded him to Colorado for Steve Downie, Max Talbot will return to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. The teams will meet at 7 p.m.
In 45 games with the Avalanche, Talbot — an outstanding penalty killer — has five goals, 17 points and a plus-1 rating.
In 37 games with the Flyers, Downie — who has been slowed by injuries — has two goals, 14 points and is even in the plus-minus ratings.
Before the host Avs’ 2-1 win over the Flyers on Jan. 2, Talbot said that it was "overwhelming" when he learned he had been traded, but that he had become acclimated to his new team and loves playing in Denver.
He said the trade was tougher on his fiancee, Cynthia. They are expecting their first child any day. Talbot was in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
"You just have to play," Talbot said last month in Denver. "For my fiancee back home, there was a little bit more responsibility and stress, but now that we're here (together), it's been great."
Talbot said that “every time you play a team you've been with, it's exciting, it's different. I know all the guys on the team. I've battled for those guys for a year and a half.”
The Flyers (28-23-6) are trying to build off a 2-1 California trip in which they won the last two games, beating Los Angeles and San Jose. They host Colorado and Calgary (Saturday) before the Olympic break.
Colorado (36-15-5) is coming off a 5-1 loss Tuesday to the Rangers.
The Avs are 17-8-2 on road, tying them for second in the NHL in away wins.
The Flyers, who are fourth in the Metropolitan Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference, are 14-10-1 at home, but are on a 12-3-1 run at the Wells Fargo Center. They have 16 of their final 25 games at home as they try to make a playoff push.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.