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Avalanche begin Canadian road trip vs. Senators

by Brian Compton

AVALANCHE (43-19-5) at SENATORS (28-25-13)


Last 10: Colorado 7-3-0; Ottawa 4-4-2

Season series: This is the second and final game this season between the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators. Tyson Barrie's overtime goal lifted the Avalanche to a 4-3 win at Pepsi Center on Jan. 8.

Big story: Colorado is battling with the Chicago Blackhawks for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Avalanche enter Sunday one point ahead of Chicago in the Central Division standings with 15 games remaining in the regular season. Ottawa blew a late 4-1 lead and ended up getting one point in an overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado will aim to bounce back from a rough outing Friday, when it allowed six goals in the second period in a 6-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center. They'll begin a three-game Canadian trip that includes games against the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets.

"This one stings a little bit, but we're not feeling sorry for ourselves," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We'll get right back at it."

Senators: Ottawa was minutes away from earning two critical points in the standings Saturday, only to see its late 4-1 lead slip away when the Canadiens scored a power-play goal with 0.3 seconds remaining. Montreal won the game 5-4 in overtime, forcing the Senators to leave Bell Centre with one point instead of two.

"Right now it's frustrating," coach Paul MacLean said. "The last 3 1/2 minutes, the game's there to be won. But it's a perfect example that you've got to play longer and harder than the opposition if you hope to win the game. There's going to be circumstances in the game where you have to control your emotion and focus on the task at hand, and we didn't do a good enough job of that."

Who's hot: Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly has points in eight of his past nine games (four goals, 10 assists). Center Matt Duchene had his nine-game point streak snapped Friday. … Senators right wing Ales Hemsky scored his first goal with his new team Saturday. He has seven points in four games since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers. Captain Jason Spezza has two goals and six assists in his past three games.

Injury report: Avalanche center Paul Stastny (back) and right wing PA Parenteau (knee) are day-to-day. Forward Alex Tanguay (hip surgery) is out for the season. … Senators goalie Craig Anderson (shoulder) and defenseman Cody Ceci (ear) are day-to-day.

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