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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 8th (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (34-17-12-5) at Vancouver Canucks (36-20-8-4), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A battle for first place in the Northwest Division is on tap this evening in British Columbia, as the Vancouver Canucks host the Colorado Avalanche at GM Place.

The Avalanche have 85 points and hold a one-point edge over Vancouver for first place in the division. Colorado is second in the Western Conference, while the Canucks are fourth in the postseason race.

Colorado will try to rebound from Sunday's 7-1 pounding by the Calgary Flames. Oleg Saprykin scored a pair of goals to lead the Flames at the Pepsi Center.

Milan Hejduk tallied the lone goal for Colorado. Philippe Sauve surrendered seven goals on 33 shots for the Avalanche, who fell to 2-6-2-1 in their last 11 games.

It was the worst regular-season loss for Colorado since a 7-0 defeat at Phoenix on November 26, 1999. It also marked the worst home setback for the Avalanche since a 7-1 loss to Boston on April 6, 1993, when the franchise was based in Quebec.

The Avalanche, who are 8-1-2-2 in their last 13 road games, begin a three-game swing tonight and will head to Edmonton on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Canucks are coming off a shutout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johan Hedberg stopped 32 shots for his third shutout of the season and Markus Naslund notched a goal and an assist, as Vancouver pounded the Blue Jackets, 4-0, at Nationwide Arena.

Mattias Ohlund, Matt Cooke and Tyler Bouck each scored for Vancouver, which won for the fourth time in six games (4-1-1). Todd Bertuzzi added two assists for the Canucks.

The Canucks, who have won three straight and six of their last nine games, will host the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.

This is the final meeting of the year between these teams and Vancouver leads the season series, 2-1-2. The Canucks have lost only twice in the last nine meetings with Colorado (5-2-2), but are winless in the previous two matchups at GM Place (0-1-1).

03/08 10:22:52 ET

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