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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 exiting.

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 the Avs.

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 Saturday.

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

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