FLAMES (38-25-5) at AVALANCHE (31-26-11)
TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, ALT
Season series: The Calgary Flames are making their only visit of the season to Pepsi Center. They defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 4. Defenceman Dennis Wideman tied the game with 1:17 left in regulation, and Sean Monahan won it 1:47 into OT.
Flames team scope: Calgary continues to thrive despite the loss of captain and No. 1 defenceman Mark Giordano, who's out for the season with a torn biceps muscle sustained in late February. The Flames are 5-1-1 without Giordano after rolling over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Friday to move into second place in the Pacific Division. The line of Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler combined for four goals and nine points. "They're responsible, they're playing the right way, and it's as simple as this," coach Bob Hartley said. "They're picking up tons of points playing the right way, and that's why we're winning games." The Flames blew the game open by scoring two shorthanded goals, one by Monahan, while killing a five-minute penalty in the first period.
Avalanche team scope: Time is running out on Colorado's hopes of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Avalanche are battling to the end. Colorado enters its final home game before a five-game road trip with a 4-1-0 record this month, including a 2-1 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The Avalanche are six points behind the Los Angeles Kings, who hold the second wild card in the Western Conference. "Every point is crucial right now," coach Patrick Roy told the Avalanche website. "It doesn’t change anything to our objective; [our] objective remains the same. We just need to be ready for Calgary right now." Goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to start; Reto Berra will be his backup after Calvin Pickard was returned to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League on Friday.