Colorado coach Patrick Roy said the key to winning away from Denver is making the right adjustments to combat each opponent's strengths.
"Their centers are pretty solid," Roy said of the Hurricanes. "So we're going to have to be solid on the puck and win our battles. We're going to have to put shots on [Hurricanes goalie Justin] Peters and test him early on. We've been playing with the lead, and when we are it seems we're a lot tougher to beat."
The Hurricanes are playing without some key contributors but coach Kirk Muller said he expects a few to be back soon. Goaltender Cam Ward has a few practices under his belt and may serve as the backup Friday against the Anaheim Ducks or Saturday at the St. Louis Blues.
Defenseman Tim Gleason, who has played three games, needs more practice time according to Muller. Gleason may return for the weekend games. Forward Jeff Skinner, who has missed seven games, could return to practice this weekend.
Here are the projected lineups for the Avalanche and the Hurricanes:
Scratched: Matt Hunwick
Scratched: Mike Komisarek