NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, February 1st
(All times eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (27-20-4) at Detroit Red Wings (38-10-4), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Detroit has been getting outstanding play in net from two
goaltenders this year, while Colorado seems to be finally getting stability
between its pipes. However, the Avalanche may be without its number one
goaltender tonight when they battle the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Jose Theodore made his 11th straight start in net on Wednesday in Colorado's
6-3 victory over Chicago, but left after two periods due to back spasms. He
improved to 6-4-1 in his last 11 outings by stopping 10-of-11 shots before
Theodore (13-12-2, 2.50 goals-against average), who has now made 26 starts
this year after starting 29 for Colorado last year, is day-to-day. Just in
case, Colorado recalled Tyler Weiman from Lake Erie of the AHL on Thursday.
Peter Budaj took over in net in the third period on Wednesday and gave up two
goals on just four shots paced in his first action since a start on January 2.
If Theodore can't go tonight, Budaj (14-8-2, 2.68 GAA) would make his 26th
start of the season.
Marek Svatos posted two goals and an assist in the win, Tyler Arnason
registered a goal and two assists and Milan Hejduk had a goal and an assist.
Brad Richardson and Andrew Brunette also scored as the Avs halted a two-game
losing streak while finishing a five-game homestand 2-2-1.
Colorado enters this test three points behind first-place Minnesota in the
Northwest Division and plays the first of back-to-back road games tonight. The
Avalanche have won three in a row as the visitor and are 9-12-3 as the road
team this year.
Detroit's only problem this year has been who to start in net. The solution so
far has been a rotating of All-Star Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek. It was
Osgood's turn on Wednesday, as he turned aside 32 shots in the Red Wings' 3-2
victory over Phoenix.
Osgood improved to 21-3-2 with the win in 27 games (26 starts) this year to go
along with an NHL-best 1.88 goals-against average.
Assuming the rotation continues, Hasek will make his 27th start and 28th
appearance of the season. The Czech netminder is 17-7-2 with a 2.12 GAA on the
season and 17-8-0 with four ties and a 2.15 GAA in 30 lifetime games against
Nicklas Lidstrom keyed a third-period rally and collected a goal and two
assists as Detroit erased a one-goal deficit in the final frame against
Phoenix. Lidstrom has two goals and six assists over his last four games.
Tomas Holmstrom also lit the lamp and Pavel Datsyuk added three helpers for
the Red Wings, who have posted five consecutive wins and upped their NHL-best
record to 38-10-4. Henrik Zetterberg, who returned to the lineup after missing
two pre-break games with a back ailment, recorded a goal for Detroit.
Detroit leads the NHL with 80 points and enjoy a 23-point edge over Nashville
for the Central Division lead.
The Red Wings also have the league's best home record at 20-4-2 and play their
second straight at Joe Louis Arena tonight. Detroit will be in Boston on
Detroit has won both meetings with Colorado so far this year and has taken 10
of the last 12 regular-season matchups between the clubs. The Red Wings have
also won five of the last six in Motown versus the Avs.
02/01 10:46:39 ET