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Avs know they must pull out all the stops

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

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Avs know they must pull out all the stops
The Avalanche will shuffle lines and try to put everything they have left in the tank into Game 6 against the Sharks, knowing another loss will send them home for the offseason.
DENVER -- Looking for any kind of spark to keep the season going, Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco will shuffle line combinations again for tonight's elimination game with the San Jose Sharks at the Pepsi Center.
   
Trailing 3-2 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, the Avalanche need to pull out a win to force a Game 7 in San Jose on Monday.
   
"Our approach is we've been a very good team when our backs have been against the wall," Sacco said after Saturday morning's pregame skate. "We've always responded very well. I've liked the way our team has responded all season long when we've had to."
   
Rookie Brandon Yip will skate on the top line at right wing with center Paul Stastny and left wing T.J. Galiardi. Chris Stewart, who has been on Stastny's unit, will be on the right side with rookie center Matt Duchene and left wing Matt Hendricks.
   
Rookie center Ryan O'Reilly will skate between left wing Darcy Tucker and right wing Marek Svatos. Stephane Yelle anchors the fourth unit with left wing Cody McLeod and right wing Kevin Porter.
   
Peter Mueller skated Friday and with the Avalanche this morning, but he won't play. He's been sidelined with a concussion since April 4.
   
Milan Hejduk will sit out his third consecutive game. He suffered an upper-body injury early in Game 2.
   
The Avalanche have been held to two goals in the past three games and are coming off a 5-0 loss in Game 5.
   
"We're not controlling the puck enough and we're shooting from the outside," said Duchene, who has three assists and no goals in the series. "A lot of our shots are not high-percentage shots. I was watching the game after, and on the telecast they said (the Sharks) had 14 scoring chances and we had three. We have to work the puck more in the inside and be more patient and try to bang in those rebounds.

"We're going to try and play loose and lay everything on the line. If we don't do what we need to do, it could be the end of our season. I can't even stand to think about that, because then you have to watch all the other teams play for the Cup and you're out and you know you had a chance. You have to live with that all summer."
   
The Sharks expect the Avalanche to play their best game of the series.
   
"We need to have our level very, very high tonight," Sharks captain Rob Blake said. "We're going to be challenged and we need to respond. The team that we're playing, they're going to have their best game. We're going to be challenged as much as we have in the series."
Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh
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