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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 3rd (All times eastern)

San Jose Sharks (12-8-4) at Colorado Avalanche (14-10-1), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month when they host the San Jose Sharks in tonight's matchup at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche are coming off Saturday's victory in Los Angeles, but haven't won consecutive tests since beating Calgary and Edmonton on November 5th and 7th.

Colorado has won three of its last five contests and is coming off a strong performance against the Kings. Ryan Smyth notched two goals and an assist as the Avs rebounded from two goals down to score five unanswered times and top Los Angeles, 5-2.

Paul Stastny added a goal and a helper for the Avalanche. T.J. Hensick and Jaroslav Hlinka also scored, while Jose Theodore needed just 17 stops to post his first win in five starts.

The Avs are expected to play their second straight game without captain Joe Sakic, who is battling a groin injury. The 38-year-old centerman has seven goals and 15 assists this season.

The Avalanche will play three of their next four games at home and are 10-2-0 as the host team this season.

San Jose's latest test came Friday evening against this same Colorado team. The Sharks posted a victory in that game, as Joe Thornton had two goals and an assist to lead San Jose to the 3-2 win at HP Pavilion.

Mike Grier got the other goal while Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves in the win for the Sharks, who halted a three-game losing streak.

Milan Hejduk and Andrew Brunette each scored a goal while Peter Budaj made 26 saves for the Avalanche.

The Sharks, who are 8-3-2 as the visiting team this year, begin a three-game road trip tonight.

Including Friday's win, the Sharks have won six of the last nine meetings between the clubs. However, San Jose has dropped two straight and four of its six most recent tests in Denver.

12/03 10:54:18 ET

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