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Preview: Ducks Finish Back-to-Back Tonight in Mile High City

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

A brief road trip ends tonight as the Ducks close out a back-to-back set against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. (6:30 p.m. PT, TV: NBCSN, Radio: AM 830). This evening also concludes the Ducks' ninth set of back-to-back games this season.

The Ducks are hoping to bounce back following a 6-2 loss last night in Chicago. Danton Heinen scored his second goal as a Duck to cut a two-goal deficit in half at the 4:20 mark of the second period, but the Blackhawks surged for three goals in a span of less than three minutes to put the game out of reach. Carter Rowney recorded his seventh goal of the season in the third period to match his single-season career high set last season.

This is the finale of a three-game set between the Ducks and Avs, which has seen club win on the road. It opened with a 5-2 Ducks victory on Oct. 26 in Denver, a game that featured Anaheim's fastest goal to start a game this season (50 seconds - Adam Henrique). The Avs got revenge on Feb. 21 with a 1-0 victory at Honda Center. The Ducks are 44-36-13 all-time vs. the Avs, including a 20-19-7 mark at Pepsi Center. They've won two straight in Denver and three of the last four overall.

The Avs come in red hot, winners of seven in a row and eight of their last 10. They hold the second-longest active winning streak in the NHL behind the St. Louis Blues, who have reeled off eight straight. With 87 points, the Avs are third overall in the NHL standings and three points behind the Blues for the top spot in the Western Conference. Strangely enough, Colorado hasn't scored more than three goals in any game during its streak, but has limited the opposition to two goals or less in each.

Nathan MacKinnon ranks fifth in the NHL in scoring with 86 points (33g/53a). The 24-year-old center is four points shy of reaching the 90-point mark for the third straight season and needs just 12 points to reach 500 in his NHL career. The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft earned his 300th career assist in Colorado's 2-1 victory in Detroit on Monday.

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