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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, January 8th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (21-10-7-1) at Nashville Predators (18-16-4-2), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche aim for their fifth straight victory tonight when they enter Gaylord Entertainment Center to battle the Nashville Predators.

Colorado now has 50 points and is just two behind Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division.

David Aebischer turned aside all 35 shots he faced for his ninth career shutout, as the Avs pounded the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-0, at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

Paul Kariya, who was suffering from a sprained wrist, played in his first game since November 15 and was one of six different Colorado players to score in the victory.

Joe Sakic, Rob Blake and Dan Hinote each posted a goal and an assist, while Karlis Skrastins and Peter Worrell also tallied for the Avalanche, who have won four straight For the first time this season.

Peter Forsberg posted two assists in the win and has one goal and six helpers in his last three contests.

The Avalanche, 9-3-5-1 on the road this season, begin a three-game swing tonight.

Nashville was dealt a 2-1 loss by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. The defeat was the second straight for the Predators, who were handed a 6-0 pounding by the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

Bryan McCabe scored twice in the third period to lift the Maple Leafs to victory, while Mats Sundin assisted on both goals.

Scott Walker scored the lone marker for Nashville, which is 4-6-3-2 in its last 15 games.

Tomas Vokoun turned aside 19 shots in the loss. Nashville's goaltender has not fared well lately, going 2-3 with a 3.21 goals-against average in his last five games.

Nashville has just one win in its last eight road games (1-5-1-1).

The Preds and Avs have each won a game at the other's building this season, keeping with the trend in this series. The road team is 8-1-2 in the last 11 matchups.

Colorado is unbeaten in its last six trips to Nashville (5-0-1).

01/08 10:39:47 ET

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