-- Looking for any kind of spark to keep the season going, Colorado Avalanche
coach Joe Sacco will shuffle line combinations again for tonight's elimination game with the San Jose Sharks
at the Pepsi Center.
Trailing 3-2 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, the Avalanche need to pull out a win to force a Game 7 in San Jose on Monday.
"Our approach is we've been a very good team when our backs have been against the wall," Sacco said after Saturday morning's pregame skate. "We've always responded very well. I've liked the way our team has responded all season long when we've had to."
Rookie Brandon Yip
will skate on the top line at right wing with center Paul Stastny
and left wing T.J. Galiardi
. Chris Stewart
, who has been on Stastny's unit, will be on the right side with rookie center Matt Duchene
and left wing Matt Hendricks
Rookie center Ryan O'Reilly
will skate between left wing Darcy Tucker
and right wing Marek Svatos
. Stephane Yelle
anchors the fourth unit with left wing Cody McLeod
and right wing Kevin Porter
skated Friday and with the Avalanche this morning, but he won't play. He's been sidelined with a concussion since April 4.
will sit out his third consecutive game. He suffered an upper-body injury early in Game 2.
The Avalanche have been held to two goals in the past three games and are coming off a 5-0 loss in Game 5.
"We're not controlling the puck enough and we're shooting from the outside," said Duchene, who has three assists and no goals in the series. "A lot of our shots are not high-percentage shots. I was watching the game after, and on the telecast they said (the Sharks) had 14 scoring chances and we had three. We have to work the puck more in the inside and be more patient and try to bang in those rebounds.
"We're going to try and play loose and lay everything on the line. If we don't do what we need to do, it could be the end of our season. I can't even stand to think about that, because then you have to watch all the other teams play for the Cup and you're out and you know you had a chance. You have to live with that all summer."
The Sharks expect the Avalanche to play their best game of the series.
"We need to have our level very, very high tonight," Sharks captain Rob Blake
said. "We're going to be challenged and we need to respond. The team that we're playing, they're going to have their best game. We're going to be challenged as much as we have in the series."