NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 23rd (All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (20-38-10-6) at Colorado Avalanche (38-20-12-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche try to get back on the winning track tonight when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center.
The Avs could be receiving a much needed lift tonight, as star center Peter Forsberg is expected to make his return to the ice. Forsberg, who missed the last 17 games with abdominal and groin muscle problems, skated in practice on Monday and appears ready to play.
Also on Monday, Colorado forward Steve Moore was released from Rose Medical Center after spending two weeks recovering from a vicious cheap shot by Vancouver's Todd Bertuzzi. Moore had suffered a broken neck, concussion with loss of consciousness and significant amnesia as well as multiple facial cuts after he was attacked from behind by Bertuzzi.
Colorado's quest for a 10th straight division title took a hit Saturday, as Owen Nolan scored twice and Ed Belfour made 32 saves to lead Toronto to a 5-2 win over the Avalanche at the Air Canada Centre.
Joe Sakic finished with a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who suffered their third straight loss. They lead the Northwest Division by four points over second-place Vancouver. John-Michael Liles also scored and David Aebischer stopped 19 shots.
Sakic's two points give him 84 on the season, leaving him two shy of Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis for the league lead. Sakic has 32 goals and 52 assists in 74 games.
The Avalanche open a two-game homestand tonight before starting a home-and- home set versus Detroit on Thursday.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are coming off a tie against Phoenix on Sunday. Michael Leighton made nine saves in overtime, including one on a 3-on-0 breakaway, to help Chicago salvage a 2-2 tie with Phoenix at the United Center.
Leighton finished with 39 saves for the Blackhawks, who have just two victories in their last 12 games. (2-6-3-1). Eric Daze and Tyler Arnason both finished with a goal and an assist.
Early in overtime, the Blackhawks killed off the remnants of a power play. And Leighton turned away several scoring chances, including a one-timer by Tyson Nash on a 3-on-0 breakaway with 2:13 remaining.
The Blackhawks snapped a two-game home losing streak and have just one win in their last nine at home (1-5-2-1).
Arnason has eight goals and eight assists in his last 10 games, and leads the team with 52 points (21g, 31a) overall.
Colorado has won seven straight and eight of its last nine matchups with the Blackhawks. Chicago is also just 1-8-1 in its last 10 trips to the Mile High City.
03/23 14:54:37 ET