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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 20th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (30-25-5) at Anaheim Ducks (33-23-7), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will try to halt a four-game losing streak tonight when they visit the Anaheim Ducks, who resume their season-long homestand tonight at Honda Center.

The Avalanche's current skid, which began with a loss to Anaheim on February 12, has fallen to fourth in the Northwest Division. Colorado is three points behind second-place Vancouver and Calgary, and eight points back of front- running Minnesota.

Colorado took on a Detroit club that had lost six straight, but fell to the Red Wings, 4-0. Jose Theodore allowed all four goals on 40 shots for the Avs. The netminder has lost each game of Colorado's skid, allowing 10 goals in that span.

The Avalanche went 0-for-3 on the power play versus Detroit, and are scoreless in their last 18 attempts with the man advantage.

Ryan Smyth is pointless in three games since coming back from an 18-game absence due to a broken right ankle. Also, Paul Stastny has missed 14 games due to a groin injury and appendectomy he underwent in January, but was at practice on Tuesday and is hoping to return tonight.

Stastny still leads Colorado with 32 assists and 49 points despite having not played since January 15. It was thought he was going to return to the ice two weekends ago, but the young center remained on injured reserve.

Also practicing on Tuesday was captain Joe Sakic, who has missed the last 36 games because of hernia surgery but could rejoin the club during their road trip.

Colorado kicks off a five-game trek tonight and has won three of its last four as the visiting team. The Avs are 12-14-3 on the road this year.

Anaheim is 1-1-0 thus far on a seven-game homestand. The Ducks lost the opener of the stand to Dallas before rebounding with a 4-2 victory against Calgary on Sunday.

Teemu Selanne became the Ducks' all-time points leader in the win, as his assist gave him 670 points in an Anaheim uniform, surpassing Paul Kariya. Selanne has a goal and three assists in seven games with the Ducks this season after joining the team late in the season.

The Finnish forward came to the Ducks from Winnipeg during the 1995-96 season and played with Anaheim until getting traded to San Jose during the 2000-01 campaign. After joining Colorado for the 2003-04 season, he returned to Anaheim and helped the club win the Stanley Cup Championship last year.

Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Pronger each registered a goal and an assist on Sunday. Ryan Carter and Scott Niedermayer also tallied and Chris Kunitz collected two helpers in the win, the Ducks' sixth in their last seven games.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves to earn his 26th win of the season. Giguere has won five of his last six starts while notching a 1.51 GAA in that span. He is 6-10-1 with two ties and a 2.24 GAA in 21 games lifetime against Colorado.

Anaheim trails first-place Dallas by six points in the Pacific Division, and are 17-8-4 at home on the year.

Anaheim has won three in a row, including two straight this year, over Colorado after dropping four straight to the Avalanche. The Avs have won six of their last 10 versus the Ducks, but have dropped two straight, three of four and six of their last nine at the Honda Center.

02/20 10:47:51 ET


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