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Avalanche-Blues Preview

Tuesday, 02.22.2011 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Avalanche-Blues Preview
Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues

The Colorado Avalanche are enduring their longest winless streak since the franchise relocated from Quebec before the 1995-96 season. They may be poised to end the slide, as they have beaten the St. Louis Blues six straight times.

The Avalanche will try to snap their 10-game skid Tuesday night when they visit the Blues in a matchup of teams that made a major trade last week.

Colorado (25-27-7) has the Western Conference's second-lowest point total with 57 and St. Louis (27-22-9) the third-lowest with 63. This contest is a makeup of the Feb. 1 game that was postponed due to severe weather.

The Avalanche have been outscored 42-14 in going 0-9-1 since a 4-3 home victory over the Blues on Jan. 24.

"We have to find a way to get a win," coach Joe Sacco said. "When we do that, I really believe that we'll put some wins together and put a streak together."

Although Colorado has been having trouble scoring, it's generated plenty of offense during its six-game run against St. Louis. The Avalanche have totaled 31 goals, with at least four in each game.

Center Matt Duchene has six points in six games against St. Louis, and the Avalanche's top scorer will be back after missing the last two contests with a hand injury.

"It's hard to be detached from (the team) and have to sit in the background and watch it," Duchene said. "But it's good to be back."


These teams are meeting for the first time since Friday's trade that sent defenseman Erik Johnson and center Jay McClement to Colorado in exchange for right wing Chris Stewart and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Johnson, drafted No. 1 overall by the Blues in 2006, was a major disappointment in St. Louis.

"It's going to be weird coming into your old rink, on the other side of the barn - seeing your old trainers, and coaches, teammates," he said. "But I think it's going to be fun more than anything."

Johnson and McClement debuted for Colorado in a 4-0 loss at San Jose on Saturday.

Stewart led the Avalanche with 28 goals last season, but was hampered this season by a broken hand that sidelined him for 21 games. He scored twice on the power play in his St. Louis debut, a 9-3 win over Anaheim on Saturday.

Sacco said that Peter Budaj, 0-5-1 with a 3.58 goals-against average in his last six starts, will get the nod Tuesday. Budaj has won his last four starts against the Blues with a 2.25 GAA.

It's uncertain who will be in goal for St. Louis. Ben Bishop was replaced by Ty Conklin after surrendering four goals on eight shots in the second period of a 5-3 loss to Chicago on Monday. Bishop made his fourth career start and first since Dec. 18, 2008.

"I felt good going into the game, felt good in the first," Bishop said. "I felt good in the second, too. Just a couple of breakdowns there."

Bishop has never faced the Avalanche while Conklin is 3-4-1 with a 2.94 GAA in eight starts against them. Jaroslav Halak is on injured reserve.

St. Louis has gone 8 for 20 on the power play in its last five games. Colorado is the league's third-worst penalty killing team at 77.4 percent.

2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 05 '11COL 1 at STL 3K. Shattenkirk
Feb 22 '11COL 4 at STL 3P. Stastny
Jan 24 '11STL 3 at COL 4R. Stoa
Nov 15 '10STL 3 at COL 6B. Yip
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Stastny58183048-54033
M. Duchene58212647-42132
M. Hejduk53182846-141682
J. Liles6063238-62930
D. Jones56201333+22443
T. Fleischmann45121931+21832
C. Stewart36131730-103853
K. Shattenkirk4671926-112021
E. Johnson5761420-93712
B. Yip5291019-124231
K. Porter5210818-31613
D. Winnik5981018+03111
J. McClement5861016-142011
R. O'Reilly5251116+3800
T. Galiardi357815-61201
P. Dupuis584913+23600
R. Wilson493811-34110
G. Mauldin295510+5801
M. Hunwick56189-32300
K. Cumiskey18178-31000
A. Foote41088-83100
C. McLeod49426-213310
R. O'Byrne49066+25900
S. Hannan23066+1600
J. Holos18033+7200
R. Stoa8202-2401
D. Van Der Gulik5112+3200
M. Olver6022-1400
D. Koci19101-33100
D. Liffiton4101+31700
C. Gaunce4101-1000
K. Quincey21011-51800
C. Cohen3000-1400
P. Forsberg2000-4400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Anderson3313-15-3999573.28.897
P. Budaj3313-12-4969263.19.896
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Backes59222345+178341
A. Steen59172845+42215
B. Boyes59122840+113042
P. Berglund59162339-41671
C. Stewart39161733-124083
A. Pietrangelo5672633+121531
A. McDonald35141529+72232
K. Shattenkirk4972128-112421
M. D'Agostini59121527+23433
V. Sobotka5561723-35010
T. Oshie2861723+7811
E. Johnson5551419-83712
C. Colaiacovo4351419-71511
J. McClement5661016-131811
B. Winchester549514-98631
E. Brewer548614+15701
B. Crombeen595611-189600
B. Jackman4701111+53100
D. Perron10527+71200
R. Polak35145-32901
N. Nikitin24134-2400
R. Reaves8202+02601
P. McRae8112-5200
C. Porter25022-31400
N. Oystrick7022+2900
T. Strachan24011-72900
A. Cracknell9011+0200
D. Scatchard8011+1600
T. Hensick5011-6200
C. Janssen33000-88300
I. Cole13000-22300
S. Della Rovere7000+01100
N. Drazenovic3000-3000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Halak4319-17-611011832.63.907
T. Conklin197-5-3514383.11.884
B. Bishop21-1-04383.16.895