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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, January 8th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (24-14-6) at Carolina Hurricanes (11-24-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche will try to get off to a good start on a three-game road trip when they visit the lowly Carolina Hurricanes for tonight's interconference clash at RBC Center.

Colorado, which is one point behind Calgary and Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division, has won five of its last six road games and is 13-8-4 as the guest this season. The Avalanche will continue their swing Saturday in Buffalo and will cap it Monday night against the rival Flames.

The Avalanche have lost two of their last three games and are coming off Wednesday's close home loss to the New York Islanders. Kyle Okposo scored with 3:17 remaining in the third period to lead the Isles to the 3-2 victory at the Pepsi Center.

Matt Hendricks and Chris Stewart scored for the Avs, while Craig Anderson made 32 saves in the setback.

Colorado forward Marek Svatos sat out his third straight game with a groin injury on Wednesday, but he is questionable for tonight, Defenseman Brett Clark, who has missed the Avs' last two games with a bruised cheekbone, is doubtful for this evening's test.

The Hurricanes, who are last in the NHL with 29 points, are coming off Thursday's loss in Nashville, a 4-2 setback that marked Carolina's fifth defeat in seven games. Patric Hornqvist picked up two power-play goals and registered an assist to lead the war for the Predators at Sommet Center.

Rod Brind'Amour and Tom Kostopoulos lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward surrendered four goals on 34 shots to take the loss.

Tonight marks the first of two straight on home ice for Carolina, which is 8-10-3 as the host this year and has lost four straight in Raleigh. The Hurricanes will also welcome Ottawa to town on Saturday.

Sergei Samsonov is expected to miss a third straight game for Carolina with an upper-body injury. Fellow forward Eric Staal, who is tied for the team lead with 27 points, will also miss tonight's game and is out indefinitely while he tends to personal matters following the recent death of his sister-in-law.

Colorado posted a 5-4 regulation win over the Hurricanes in Denver on October 23 and is 13-1-3 in the last 17 meetings against Carolina. The Avs are 6-1-1 in their last eight trips to Raleigh.

01/08 10:39:16 ET

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