DUCKS (44-25-11) at AVALANCHE (39-38-4)
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET; SN1, PRIME, FS-D, ALT, NHL.TV
Season series: The Colorado Avalanche have won their first two games against the Anaheim Ducks without allowing a goal. Reto Berra made 35 saves in a 3-0 victory at Honda Center on Oct. 16, and Semyon Varlamov had 37 saves in a 3-0 victory at Pepsi Center on March 9 that ended Anaheim's 14-game point streak.
Ducks team scope: Defenseman Sami Vatanen (illness) and forward Rickard Rakell (appendix) did not make the trip, according to the Orange County Register. Vatanen did not play Thursday in a 2-1 loss at the Los Angeles Kings. Goaltender John Gibson likely will make his seventh straight start, but coach Bruce Boudreau hopes Frederik Andersen (concussion) will be able to play Sunday at the Washington Capitals. "I think he's close," Boudreau told the Register. "Talking to Freddie, he thinks he's close. Hopefully one of the games this weekend he can play in. Obviously it's up to him and how feels. But I would think he would like to play in one of the games this weekend as well." The Ducks need wins against the Avalanche and Capitals and a loss of any kind by the Kings against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday to finish first in the Pacific Division.
Avalanche team scope: Colorado brings a five-game losing streak into its season finale after losing 4-2 at the Dallas Stars on Thursday. One reason the Avalanche will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season is that opponents are averaging 32.3 shots on goal per game, third-highest in the NHL. "It's definitely not a system issue with what the coaches put out there," defenseman Erik Johnson told the Denver Post. "It's definitely on us players, on the core of the team, that we didn't make the playoffs, and we have to look in the mirror and realize we have to be better."