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Red Wings host Avalanche trying to avoid 3rd straight loss
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to avoid their second three- game losing streak in less than three weeks when they host the Colorado Avalanche for Monday's battle at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings had won three straight before dropping the finale of a four-game road trip by a 2-0 count Thursday in San Jose. Detroit followed that shutout loss with a humbling 7-1 setback in Sunday's home game against rival Chicago.
The Red Wings, who have made 21 straight playoff appearances, are currently seventh out of the Western Conference's eight playoff seeds. Detroit is two points ahead of eighth-seeded Columbus and one in back of No. 6 San Jose.
Detroit fell behind 3-0 in the first five minutes of Sunday's game against the Blackhawks and never recovered. Cory Emmerton netted the lone Detroit goal in the blowout, while Jimmy Howard allowed four goals on 14 shots before being removed early in the second period. Jonas Gustavsson gave up three goals on 12 shots in relief for the Red Wings.
"We didn't play hockey tonight whatsoever. It's tough when you spot them a few goals right away from the start," Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "You dig a big hole for yourselves and we couldn't find a way to get back. It was embarrassing at times."
Detroit, which is 9-6-3 as the home club this season, will play two straight and six of its next eight on the road.
The Avalanche had lost four straight in regulation before recording a 1-0 overtime victory in Saturday's home test against Nashville. It was just the second win in 10 games (2-8-0) for a Colorado club that is last in the West and nine points out of a playoff spot.
Tyson Barrie's tally at the 50-second mark of overtime was the lone score in Colorado's 1-0 victory over the Predators. Barrie alertly followed up a Greg Zanon point shot, flipping the rebound home from the right side before one minute had elapsed in the extra session.
"I saw 'Zanny' loading up for the one timer. It popped out (of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne's glove) and I knew I would have a chance," said Barrie of his winning score.
Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov kept his club in the game, stopping 34 shots to record his 11th career shutout.
"I felt good all game. For sure a game like this will help us get our confidence back," Varlamov said. "It was good to make saves at the start of the game, because in other ones, we've given up early goals."
Avs forward Milan Hejduk suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday and is doubtful for Monday.
While Colorado ended a four-game overall slide on Saturday, the Avs still enter Monday having lost 11 straight on the road. The club last won away from Denver when it beat Minnesota on Feb. 14 and Colorado has a dreadful 2-12-3 road mark this season.
The Avalanche have lost three of four and four of their last six games in Detroit. The Red Wings have taken three of five overall in this series.
04/01 11:07:26 ET