AVALANCHE (35-21-6) at DUCKS (30-25-7)
Last 10 -- Avalanche 5-5-0; Ducks 6-4-0
Season series -- This is the second of four meetings. On Dec. 22, the Ducks earned a 4-2 road win after erasing a 2-0 third-period deficit. Scott Niedermayer and Dan Sexton had goals to tie the score, and Ryan Getzlaf netted the go-ahead goal with 26 seconds remaining in regulation. Todd Marchant added an empty-netter. Brandon Yip opened the game's scoring for Colorado at 2:09 of the first period with his first NHL goal, and Paul Stastny added another in the third period.
Big story -- Looking for their first postseason trip since 2007-08, the Avalanche appear in good shape. With 76 points this season, the Avalanche has already surpassed their point total from all of last season, when they had 69 (32-45-5). The Avs are the only NHL team to surpass its 2008-09 point total thus far. The Ducks are in 11th place in the Western Conference, three points behind No. 8 Detroit for the final Western playoff berth. Anaheim has not missed the playoffs since 2003-04.
Avalanche -- Colorado is beginning a two-game road trip. The Avs returned from the Olympic with a 3-2 loss against Detroit at home on Monday.
After falling behind 2-0 after the first period, the Avs received goals from T.J. Galiardi and Chris Stewart to tie the score after 40 minutes. Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom scored on the power play midway through the third period for the winning score.
"It was 2-2 with 10 minutes to go in the third period and we take a bad penalty," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "Their power play was very good tonight and they took advantage of it. We can't take a penalty at that time."
"Any time you go down 2-0 to Detroit, they're always a dangerous team and they can beat any team in the League," Avs center Paul Stastny said. "You can't fall behind them 2-0 because it's too hard to come back on them."
Ducks -- Anaheim is playing its first game after the Olympic break. The team sent eight players to Vancouver and seven returned with medals, the lone exception being goaltender Jonas Hiller of Switzerland.
"It's awesome seeing those guys play for their country," rookie Dan Sexton said. "They are all such good guys and deserve it so much. They are playing big roles on their teams. To see them do so well, it's awesome."
The Ducks have won their last 11 home games, a franchise record. They have not lost at Honda Center since Dec. 6. Anaheim plays eight of its next nine at home.
Who's hot -- From the Avalanche, Ruslan Salei was 1-0-1 for Belarus, and Paul Stastny was 1-2-3 for the United States at the Olympics. From the Ducks, Saku Koivu was 0-2-2 and Teemu Selanne was 0-2-2 for Finland, Ryan Getzlaf was 3-4-7, Scott Niedermayer was 1-2-3 and Corey Perry was 4-1-5 for Canada, Bobby Ryan was 1-1-2 for the United States, and goaltender Jonas Hiller was 1-3 with a 2.47 GAA for Switzerland.
Stat pack -- Getzlaf and Perry of Anaheim are two of three NHLers this season to post an assist streak of at least 10 games. … Perry has the longest point streak of the season at 19 games. … Jason Blake is 1-2-3 in seven games with the Ducks since arriving from Toronto in a trade. … On Monday, goaltender Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche broke a team record with his 17th consecutive start. He passed Patrick Roy, who started 16 straight games from Jan. 12 to Feb. 21, 1999.
Puck drop -- "I don't focus on (the deadline). For the young players, it's something they're going to have to learn to go through every year, and the veteran guys have been through it so many times that I think they're used to it by now. The biggest thing for me and us as a coaching staff is to make sure that we don't get distracted. It's going to be an extremely important push for us down the stretch, and, man, it's going to be competitive." -- Avs coach Joe Sacco to the Denver Post on Wednesday's trade deadline