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Avalanche-Coyotes Preview @NHL

Paul Stastny's hot streak is a big reason the Colorado Avalanche are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The 21-year-old center will look to extend his NHL rookie record point streak to 20 games Saturday as the Avalanche continue to make a push toward the postseason when they visit the lowly Phoenix Coyotes.

Stastny's only point of Colorado's most recent game Wednesday was a goal 50 seconds into the third period that turned out to be the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Calgary.

The win improved the Avalanche to 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Colorado (35-29-6) is in ninth place in the West, eight points behind Calgary, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Avalanche will face the Flames twice in the final week of the season. Seven of their final 12 games will be on the road, where Colorado is 4-0-1 in its last five games.

Stastny has scored nine goals and recorded 27 points during the 19-game streak. He was last held without a point in a loss to Minnesota on Feb. 1.

"Right now the record doesn't mean any more than our next game, Saturday in Phoenix," Stastny said.

Stastny tied his father, Peter, for the second-longest scoring streak in franchise history. The elder Stastny had a point in 19 straight for the Quebec Nordiques during the 1983-84 season. Mats Sundin earned a point in a franchise-record 30 consecutive games in 1992-93.

"My dad doesn't even know any of this stuff until he reads it in the paper," said Paul Stastny, who is tied for second on the team with 67 points. "He will be more excited for the win and we won't bring up the streak thing until the summer. He knows how important every game is right now."

Milan Hejduk scored his team-leading 29th goal, Joe Sakic added his 28th and Andrew Brunette had two assists on Wednesday for Colorado.

One of Stastny's two career two-goal games came in a 4-2 win over Phoenix on Jan. 17 as Colorado won its seventh straight in the series. However, the Coyotes ended that streak with a 5-4 shootout victory on Jan. 26 in the most recent meeting. The Avs have at least one point in 14 consecutive games against Phoenix.

The Coyotes (28-39-3) were officially eliminated from the playoff race with a 5-1 loss to San Jose on Thursday, falling for the sixth time in seven games.

"Realistically, regardless of what happened tonight, we knew the situation," said coach Wayne Gretzky, whose Coyotes are in last place in the West and will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

Travis Roche scored Phoenix's lone goal on the power play as the team fell to 1-3 on its current homestand, which concludes Saturday.

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