NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 3rd (All times eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (5-6-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (5-3-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Joel Quenneville's Chicago Blackhawks begin a five-game homestand tonight against the head coach's old team, as the Colorado Avalanche pay a visit to the United Center.
Quenneville spent the previous three seasons with the Avalanche, going 131-92-23 in that time. However, his lack of success in the postseason was his undoing, as the Avalanche were just 10-12 in the playoffs with Quenneville on the bench.
Quenneville was not brought back following last season, which ended with a second-round sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, and Colorado replaced him with Tony Granato, who is now in his second stint as the team's head coach.
Quenneville signed on with the Blackhawks as a pro scout prior to the season, but ascended to the head coaching job when Denis Savard was fired on October 16, just four games into the season after a 1-2-1 start.
Chicago has yet to lose in regulation as the host this season, going 4-0-2 in the Windy City. The Blackhawks are tied for second in the NHL with 23 home goals, with five of those coming from Patrick Sharp.
Sharp was one of three Chicago skaters to score during regulation of Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over Columbus. Jonathan Toews, meanwhile, notched the lone goal of the extra session, snapping a shot by the Blue Jackets' Fredrik Norrena to help the Blackhawks win their second straight and for the fourth time in six games.
Duncan Keith and Kris Versteeg each had two assists in the win, while netminder Cristobal Huet made 48 saves in the win.
Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin have alternated starts in net over the last four games. Huet improved to 2-2-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average in five starts, while Khabibulin is 3-1-2 with a 2.44 GAA in six starts.
Sharp's goal was his team-leading seventh of the season as he looks to follow up last year's career campaign in which the 26 year old netted 36 goals. He has four goals and two assists in 10 career games versus Colorado.
Chicago won three of four from Colorado last season and has won two straight and three of the last four as the host in the series.
Granato's Avalanche play the second of back-to-back contests tonight, as they were in action at home on Sunday. Colorado, though, left town on a down note, falling to San Jose, 5-3.
Milan Hejduk had a goal and an assist, while Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles also scored. Joe Sakic had two assists and Paul Stastny donated a helper. Sakic and Stastny both have a team-best 10 assists on the season.
Peter Budaj allowed five goals on 29 shots for the Avalanche, who have now lost three in a row after a five-game winning streak. Budaj is 3-0-1 with a 2.05 GAA in five games (4 starts) lifetime versus Chicago, while backup Andrew Raycroft has lost both of his career starts against the club, allowing seven goals in that span.
Colorado is 2-3-0 as the road team this season.
11/03 10:49:43 ET