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Preview - Flames vs. Avalanche

The Flames host the Avalanche on Wednesday at 8:00 PM MT

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

AVALANCHE (12-24-1) VS. FLAMES (20-17-2)

BROADCAST: 8:00 PM MT; Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)

SEASON SERIES: The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche have faced off once in their three-game 2016-17 season series, with Calgary skating away with a 6-3 win in that opening match-up on Dec. 27 in Denver. Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau both scored twice and Brian Elliott made 25 saves in the victory. The two teams will wrap up their season series on Mar. 27 when the Avalanche make another stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

AVALANCHE TEAM SCOPE: Colorado has struggled throughout the course of the year and their 12-24-1, 25-point season has them sitting last in the NHL. They are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, which saw Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Barrie score in the setback. The Avalanche are led offensively by Nathan MacKinnon (9 goals, 25 points), Matt Duchene (13 goals, 24 points) and Barrie (3 goals, 20 points). Goaltenders Calvin Pickard and Semyon Varlamov have split the goaltending duties this year; Pickard has a 6-10-1 record with a 3.14 GAA and a .898 save percentage while Varlamov holds a 6-14-0 record with a 3.33 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

FLAMES' TEAM SCOPE: The Flames are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 31. Backlund extended his point streak to four games in the victory. During that stretch, he has five goals and eight points. The Flames also received goals from Michael Frolik, Dennis Wideman and Lance Bouma in their triumph over the Coyotes. That win pushed the Flames to a 20-17-2 record and 42 points on the year, which has them sitting in the first Wildcard spot in the Western Conference as of Tuesday afternoon. They are five points back of the San Jose Sharks (first in the Pacific Division), four points behind the Anaheim Ducks (second in the Pacific Division) and sit three points back of the Edmonton Oilers (third in the Pacific Division). Elliott, who has started four of the last six games, is riding a four-game winning streak.

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