DENVER -- It's hard to fathom an Anaheim Ducks lineup that features high-scoring forwards like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry having problems scoring goals.
Not that it has mattered much, since the Ducks lead the Western Conference with a 9-3-0 record heading into their game Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
The Ducks scored three goals in the first three games of their four-game road trip and won two of them, thanks to stingy defense and strong goaltending from Frederik Andersen and John Gibson.
Perry is among NHL leaders with 10 goals, but he went three games without a point before scoring a goal and an assist Friday in the Ducks 2-1 shootout win against the Dallas Stars.
Getzlaf has gone four games without a goal, Ryan Kesler has gone five games without a goal, and Emerson Etem and Jakob Silfverberg are still looking to score their first goals despite playing in all 12 games.
Left wing Patrick Maroon has returned to the lineup and his presence should help. He played Friday after missing eight games because of a knee injury and will skate on the Ducks top line with Getzlaf and Perry.
Gibson is expected to start against the Avalanche. Andersen didn't take part in an optional skate Sunday.
The Avalanche didn't skate Sunday after losing 3-2 in a shootout Saturday to the St. Louis Blues, but coach Patrick Roy said after the game that goalie Semyon Varlamov would start against the Ducks.
The Avalanche (3-4-5) have at least one point in six consecutive games (2-0-4) and are opening a three-game homestand.
Here are the projected lineups:
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt Beleskey - William Karlsson - Jakob Silfverberg
Emerson Etem - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler - Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner - Josh Manson
Scratched: Dany Heatley, Rickard Rakell
Injured: Bryan Allen (lower body), Mark Fistric (back), Ben Lovejoy (broken finger), Kyle Palmieri (sprained ankle)
Gabriel Landeskog - Matt Duchene - Ryan O'Reilly
Jamie McGinn - Nathan MacKinnon - Jarome Iginla
Alex Tanguay - John Mitchell - Dennis Everberg
Cody McLeod - Marc-Andre Cliche - Maxime Talbot
Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Nate Guenin - Tyson Barrie
Brad Stuart - Nick Holden
Scratched: Daniel Briere, Zach Redmond
Injured: Patrick Bordeleau (back surgery), Ryan Wilson (shoulder), Jesse Winchester (concussion)
Status report: Allen, who has yet to play this season, is on a conditioning assignment with Norfolk in the American Hockey League ... Fistric sustained a lower back injury Thursday against the Blues and might miss as many as two weeks ... Palmieri continues to skate in Anaheim and could be back within a week.
Who's hot: The Ducks penalty killers have killed 12 consecutive penalties in the past three games ... Gibson has stopped 81 of 84 shots in his past three starts ... MacKinnon has three goals and one assist in a two-game scoring streak ... Johnson has one goal and four assists in a three-game scoring streak ... Varlamov has stopped 116 of 120 shots in the past three games.