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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 4th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (31-29-5) at Detroit Red Wings (41-16-8), 12:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - After getting their road trip off to a flying start, the Colorado Avalanche travel to one of the NHL's toughest environs this afternoon for a battle with the powerful Detroit Red Wings.

Colorado began this pivotal five-game trek with a resounding 6-1 victory Thursday in Chicago, in which the Avs broke open a close contest by erupting for three goals in the final two minutes.

Brad Richardson and Jeff Finger each had a goal and an assist to lead the offense, while Peter Budaj made 23 saves to help Colorado to its second consecutive win.

Ian Laperriere and Ben Guite both finished with a pair of assists, while Joe Sakic tied Doug Gilmour for 11th place on the league's all-time list in that category by setting up Ken Klee's late empty-net goal.

Paul Stastny also had an assist on Thursday, extending his scoring streak to 14 games. The 21-year-old has eight goals and 12 helpers during his run, the fourth-longest by a rookie in NHL history.

Teemu Selanne holds the league record of 17 consecutive games with at least one point by a first-year player, setting the mark with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93. The record was previously held by Stastny's father, Peter, who scored in 16 straight contests with the Quebec Nordiques in 1980-81.

The Avalanche, who stand 11 points out of a playoff spot at the moment, will likely find the going a little tougher this afternoon. Detroit boasts a sensational 23-3-4 record at Joe Louis Arena this season and has won 14 of its last 15 on home ice.

The Red Wings also posted a lopsided win over Chicago in their most recent contest, a 6-2 verdict Friday in the Motor City. Robert Lang had a goal and three assists while Nicklas Lidstrom notched the 200th marker of his career in the rout.

Lidstrom added a pair of assists and Pavel Datsyuk registered three helpers for Detroit, which outshot the Blackhawks by a 37-19 margin.

Chris Osgood made 17 saves filling in for the injured Dominik Hasek, who is expected to sit out today's encounter as well with a sore thigh. The Red Wings will also be without high-scoring forward Henrik Zetterberg, who will miss a minimum of two weeks with a herniated disc.

Detroit has dominated this series as of late, having taken 10 of the last 12 regular-season meetings with Colorado. The Avalanche have lost four in a row at Joe Louis Arena since earning a 5-2 decision there on February 14, 2004.

03/04 10:26:55 ET


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