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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 11th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (37-27-6) at Atlanta Thrashers (30-32-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will try to get back in the win column this evening, when they visit the struggling Atlanta Thrashers for an interconference matchup at Philips Arena.

Colorado had won a season-high six straight games, but had the winning streak halted Sunday in Dallas. The Avalanche had defeated the visiting Stars, 3-1, in the opener of the home-and-home set on Saturday, but Dallas rebounded with a shutout win on its ice.

The Avalanche come into this evening's test with 80 points and are tied with Vancouver for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Colorado is also just two points in back of Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division.

Colorado was blanked 3-0 by the Stars, as Marty Turco saved all 19 shots that he faced for his 33rd career whitewash. Brad Richards scored a goal and added an assist for Dallas.

Jose Theodore allowed three goals on 21 shots and received the loss for the Avalanche. Theodore was pulled prior to the third period for Peter Budaj, who stopped all five shots he faced.

Peter Forsberg did not play for Colorado due to a groin injury he sustained in Saturday's win over Dallas. Forsberg has two assists in three games since signing to play with Colorado for the remainder of the season on February 25. He is questionable for tonight's contest.

This evening's test marks the second of two straight on the road for the Avs, who are just 15-16-4 as the visitor this year. After tonight, Colorado will return home for two games, beginning with Thursday's tilt against Edmonton and ending Saturday against New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the Thrashers have lost nine of their last 10 games (1-5-4) and have fallen 10 points out of playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta ended an eight-game slide with Friday's home shootout win over Minnesota, but was then handed an overtime loss Saturday at Florida. Nathan Horton notched the game-winner with 23 seconds left in OT, as the Panthers beat the Thrashers, 3-2, at BankAtlantic Center.

In the extra session, Ilya Kovalchuk was called for hooking with 1:42 to go and Florida capitalized on the power play, as Horton fired a shot from the left circle behind Kari Lehtonen.

Kovalchuk and Bryan Little tallied for the Thrashers. Mark Recchi picked up two assists and Lehtonen allowed three goals on 43 shots in defeat.

The Thrashers are playing two straight at home and will welcome Calgary to town on Thursday before starting a three-game road trip Friday at Washington. Atlanta is 17-15-3 at home this year and has won three of its last five at Philips Arena.

Atlanta is 3-1 with a tie in the last five meetings against the Avalanche. This is Colorado's first stop in Atlanta since the teams played to a tie on January 22, 2004.

03/11 10:40:53 ET


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