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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 19th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (4-2-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (3-3-0), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will take aim at their third straight victory tonight, when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.

The Avalanche are coming off wins over Columbus and Calgary. Colorado breezed past the Blue Jackets, 5-1, last Saturday and earned a shootout victory over the Flames on Tuesday.

Colorado posted a comeback win over the visiting Flames. The Avs dug their way out of a 4-0 deficit to post the 5-4 win, as Ryan Smyth tallied the deciding goal in the shootout to lift Colorado.

Smyth slipped a backhander past Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in Colorado's second shootout chance to put the Avs up 2-0. Jarome Iginla scored for Calgary, but Avalanche netminder Jose Theodore stoned former Avs winger Alex Tanguay to lock up the win.

Smyth finished with a goal and an assist in regulation for the Avalanche, who upped their home record to a perfect 4-0. Marek Svatos, Andrew Brunette and Kurt Sauer also scored and Paul Stastny registered three assists.

Peter Budaj allowed four goals on 12 shots in the start, and Theodore halted all 17 shots he faced over the final 42-plus minutes to notch his first win of the year. Theodore came in after Calgary went up 4-0 on Budaj early in the second period.

The Avs, who are 0-2 as the visiting team this year, are beginning a four-game road trip tonight. Colorado will also make stops in Minnesota, Edmonton and Calgary during the trek.

The Blackhawks had a two-game win streak halted Wednesday night as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting St. Louis Blues. Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk scored on the power play to lift the Blues at the United Center.

Jason Williams was credited with the lone goal for the Blackhawks, while Nikolai Khabibulin made 23 saves.

Tonight marks the end of a three-game homestand for Chicago, which is 2-2 in the Windy City this season.

Colorado has won two straight and four of the last six meetings with the Blackhawks. The Avs have also come out on top in six of their last eight games in the Windy City.

10/19 10:40:18 ET


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