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Avalanche stand in way as Bruins aim for 11th straight

by Jon Lane

BRUINS (47-17-5) at AVALANCHE (44-20-6)


Last 10: Boston 10-0-0; Colorado 6-3-1

Season series: This is the second of two games between the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche. Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves to earn his 37th NHL shutout with a 2-0 victory against the Bruins on Oct. 10.

Big story: Winners of 10 straight games and sitting atop the Eastern Conference, the Bruins (99 points) will tie the St. Louis Blues for the most points in the League and extend their longest point streak since November 2011 (14-0-1) with a win against the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Boston has outscored opponents 41-15 during the streak, during which 16 Bruins have scored goals.

Colorado is hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak for the first time in 2014.

Team Scope:

Bruins: In addition to the Avalanche's speed and skill, Boston is ready for a defensive challenge when it looks to improve on a 15-4-4 record against the Western Conference.

"They were a young, fast group," forward Daniel Paille said, recalling the first game between the teams. "They have a lot of offensive power, but they played very well defensively. We got shut out, so we definitely found it tough to score against them. So I think they're definitely a good, young team."

Despite their winning streak, the Bruins are taking nothing for granted. In fact, they're embracing the next challenge.

"You come to Colorado and the air's a little bit thinner," coach Claude Julien said. "They're on their home ice and they're coming off a couple of losses here where they want to get back to their winning ways. To me, it's the kind of challenge that we need right now to keep us going in the right direction."

Avalanche: Colorado fell into third place in the Central Division after a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. After scoring 20 seconds into the game, the Avalanche fell behind 12 minutes later and never regained the lead.

"We were not trying to find excuses. We haven't done that all year," coach Patrick Roy said. "We just wanted to make sure we had a good start, and we did. We scored on our first shift. I thought our guys had good legs. … We need to be ready for the Bruins on Friday night."

Who's hot: Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has scored in four consecutive games and earned at least one point in six straight. Center David Krejci has five assists in his past five games. … Avalanche center Matt Duchene has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past five games and has three goals and 11 assists this month. Forward Ryan O'Reilly has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five.

Injury report: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk (bruised right ankle) returned to the ice Thursday, but Julien said he won't play until he's 100 percent. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (strained quadriceps) remains on injured reserve, but is "headed in the right direction," according to Julien. … Avalanche center John Mitchell (bruised back) is day-to-day. Center Paul Stastny (back) missed the game Wednesday, the second of a back-to-back, and should return Friday. Forwards PA Parenteau (torn right MCL) and Alex Tanguay (hip surgery) are on IR.


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