NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 13th
(All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (33-15-8) at Colorado Avalanche (26-25-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to maintain their slipping grasp
on first place in the Pacific Division when they visit the Pepsi Center
tonight to take on the Colorado Avalanche.
Anaheim has lost seven of its last 10 games, including its two most recent
contests, and now holds only a three-point lead over San Jose for the
Pacific's top spot. Dallas, which dealt the Ducks a 1-0 defeat on Saturday,
stands just four points back in the division race.
Stars rookie Mike Smith stopped all 32 Anaheim shots he faced, while Jussi
Jokinen scored the game's only goal with a power-play tally 4:13 into the
Jean-Sebastien Giguere finished with 20 saves for the Ducks, who were shut out
for the second time in four games.
Saturday's loss began a four-game road swing for Anaheim. The Ducks are
15-10-3 as the visitor this season and will also face fellow Pacific members
Phoenix and Los Angeles during this trek.
Colorado is also coming off a loss to Dallas, a 7-5 setback at the American
Airlines Center on Sunday. The defeat was the fourth in five games for the
struggling Avs, who currently sit at the bottom of the Northwest Division and
have significant ground to make up in the Western Conference playoff race.
Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk each had a goal and an assist for Colorado, but
goaltender Peter Budaj stopped just 11-of-15 shots before Jose Theodore took
over netminding duties early in the second period. Theodore ended with seven
Sakic is now just two goals shy of becoming the 17th player in NHL history to
reach 600 for his career.
Colorado brings a 15-13-3 home record into tonight's tilt but has dropped four
of its last six at the Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche have won three straight in this series, however, including a
pair of victories over Anaheim earlier this season. The Ducks have also lost
in each of their last five visits to Denver.
Colorado has also taken five of its last six meetings with Anaheim, although
10 of the last 11 matchups between the clubs have been decided by a single
02/13 10:35:50 ET