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Avs hope to end long trip with win on Long Island

Monday, 03.02.2009 / 4:00 PM / Game-Day Skate

By Adam Schwartz - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Avalanche look for their first win of their six-game Eastern Conference road trip in their final stop when they face the Islanders tonight (7 p.m. ET TSN, VERSUS, RIS) in the only game on the NHL's docket Monday night.

The Islanders have won two of their last three home games, including wins against the Atlantic Division-leading Devils and the playoff-hopeful Sabres.

The Isles have the fewest points in the League, and will be without captain Bill Guerin, who was removed from the lineup prior to Saturday's game against Buffalo while awaiting a trade.

Colorado has played nine of its last 11 games on the road. While they are last in the Western Conference with just 57 points, they're just 10 points out of a playoff spot. In their last game, they lost 6-1 to the Rangers.

Here are some quick-hitting facts about Colorado and the Islanders:

* The Avalanche are 17-14-0 at the Pepsi Center, but just 11-20-1 from Colorado, including a 2-7-0 road record in February. Colorado leads the League with 20 wins in one-goal games, but is a combined 8-21-0 in two- and three-goal games.

* Colorado left wing Ryan Smyth, who leads the team with 51 points, has 5 goals and 9 points in his last nine games. Smyth has 5 assists and 7 points in seven Monday games.

* Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles, whose favorite player growing up was Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch, leads the team with 11 power-play assists and the club's defensemen with an average of 4:04 of power-play ice time per game. Liles never has finished a season as a minus player, but has a minus-10 rating in 56 games this season.

* Colorado left wing Wojtek Wolski, who has had at least 28 assists in each of his two previous seasons and is tied for third on the team with 22 assists this season, has just 2 assists in his last 10 games. Wolski, who averages the fourth-most ice time among Colorado forwards at 18:36 per game, has an assist in his lone career game against the Islanders.

* Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod, who leads the team with 154 hits and 132 penalty minutes, has scored just 2 of his 12 goals on the road this season, and he has just 1 goal in 16 games since the All-Star break.

* Defenseman Mark Streit, who is the only Islander with more than 40 points, is averaging 25:10 of ice time per game this season after averaging just 17:31 with the Canadiens last season. Streit, who has scored 8 of his 12 goals at home, has 7 assists and 11 points in his last 12 games.

* The Islanders, who lead the League with 1,073 blocked shots, have the second-best home penalty kill in the Eastern Conference at 85.3 percent. The Islanders, who have only outshot their opponent in 17 of their 62 games, are 11-25-5 when being outshot.

* Islanders left wing Blake Comeau, who had 7 assists and 15 points in 51 games last season, has 9 assists and 13 points in just 36 games this season. Comeau, who plays on a line with Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey, averaged just 11:40 of ice time per game last season, but is averaging 15:36 this season.

* Islanders center Andy Hilbert, who has double-digit goals for just the second time in his career with 10 in 50 games, has scored 5 road and 5 home goals. Hilbert, who plays on a line with Frans Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini, has 5 points and a plus-6 rating in 15 games since the All-Star break.

Contact Adam Schwartz at aschwartz@nhl.com.
Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic