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GAME: Colorado Avalanche (16-12-3) at New York Islanders (15-13-2).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

With teammate Jason Blake recovering well following a scary incident in their last game, the New York Islanders can now focus on the Colorado Avalanche when the teams meet at Nassau Coliseum.

Blake crashed headfirst into the boards during the Islanders' 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday and spent more than 10 minutes laying on the ice. He was carted off on a stretcher and taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he was kept overnight for observation.

On Wednesday, he was released with a moderate concussion and no signs of serious injury.

Blake, the Islanders' second-leading scorer with 13 goals and 11 assists, will miss Saturday's game but was able to visit with teammates when they practiced on Wednesday.

"He looked good," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. "He was in good spirits. It was nice to see, but for now, we'll take it day-by-day and do what's best for Jason."

The injury to Blake took some of the attention away from the loss to the Wild. New York fell behind 2-0 after the first period before rallying for three goals in the second.

Minnesota, though, came back with two more goals in the period to send the Islanders to their fourth loss in five games at home.

The Islanders have made a habit of falling behind early in games, especially at home.

"I don't have any idea why," Stirling said. "We knew they would come out and skate, and we didn't keep up with them for the first five or seven minutes."

The Avalanche lost for the fourth time in six games when they gave up four third-period goals in a 6-2 defeat to Ottawa on Monday night.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the final period thanks to goals from Marek Svatos and Patrice Brisebois, who snapped a 21-game goal drought, but the Avs couldn't handle the rush of the high-scoring Senators.

"I don't think we can expect to win if we give up six, but when it was 2-2 in the third in our building, those are the types of games that we have to figure out a way to win," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.

Joe Sakic extended his points streak to 10 games Monday, and has at least one point in 26 of Colorado's 31 games this season.

STANDINGS: Avalanche - 35 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Northwest Division. Islanders - 32 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Svatos, 15 goals; Alex Tanguay, 23 assists and 34 points; Ian Laperriere, 50 PIM. Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 14 goals; Alexei Zhitnik, 20 assists; Alexei Yashin, 30 points; Arron Asham, 68 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Avalanche - Power play: 19.9 percent (40 for 201), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.0 percent (148 for 176), 7th. Islanders - Power play: 18.9 percent (35 for 185), 9th. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (170 for 207), 18th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - David Aebischer (11-6-0, 1 SO, 3.37 GAA); Vitaly Kolesnik (2-2-0, 3.46). Islanders - Rick DiPietro (11-10-2, 3.15); Garth Snow (4-3-0, 3.37).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: 0-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 10, 2004; 1-1. At Denver, DiPietro and ex-Colorado goalie Philippe Sauve matched each other save for save in the tie. DiPietro finished with 36 saves while Sauve made 35.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 8-7-0 on the road; Islanders - 6-6-1 at home.

Associated Press

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