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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 3rd (All times eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (35-19-7-4) at Colorado Avalanche (33-16-11-5), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks attempt to wrestle the Northwest Division lead from Colorado this evening when they visit the struggling Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

The Canucks have 81 points and are just one behind Colorado for the top spot in the division and second place in the Western Conference.

This will also be the first meeting between the teams since Avalanche forward Steve Moore handed Canucks' captain Markus Naslund a concussion with an unpenalized check in a 1-0 Vancouver win on February 16. Naslund missed three games as a result of the incident.

Vancouver registered a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues at GM Place on Saturday.

Johan Hedberg stopped a penalty shot with just 3.4 seconds remaining in the game, preserving his second shutout of the season. Hedberg hadn't started in net since Valentine's Day.

Artem Chubarov and Mattias Ohlund scored for the Canucks, who have won three straight games. They improved to 21-0-0-2 on the season when leading after two periods.

The Canucks, who have dropped four of their last six games as the visitor, begin their three-game road trip.

Meanwhile, the Avs continued to falter Monday, as they were blanked 3-0 by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Pepsi Center.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 16 shots for his third shutout of the season and Vincent Lecavalier tallied a goal and an assist.

David Aebischer turned aside 26 shots for Colorado, which fell to 1-5-1-1 in its last eight games. Milan Hejduk had the best opportunity to score for the Avalanche, but his shot late in the first period hit the post.

The Avalanche, who are winless in their last four games (0-2-1-1), have just eight goals in their last 11 contests. The Avs have been shut out in three of their last five home games.

Colorado has 82 points and is three behind Detroit for the top spot in the West.

The Avs were without Peter Forsberg for the seventh consecutive game. He has been sidelined with a groin injury.

Colorado, winless in its last seven home games (0-4-2-1), plays the second test of its four-game homestand tonight.

The Canucks are 3-1-1 in the last five meetings against Colorado and has won two straight in Denver.

03/03 11:59:10 ET


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