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Preview: Avalanche at Ducks

Nate Thompson makes season debut for Anaheim; Colorado's Tyson Barrie, Rene Bourque to return

by Dan Arritt / Correspondent

AVALANCHE (13-31-2) at DUCKS (27-15-9)

10 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, PRIME, ALT, NHL.TV 


Avalanche team scope

Defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Rene Bourque are expected to return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup, with the Avalanche looking to end a season-high seven-game losing streak (0-6-1). Barrie, who missed the past four games with a lower-body injury, is Colorado's top-scoring defenseman with 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) in 42 games. Bourque, who missed three games with a lower-body injury, has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 41 games. Colorado has not earned points in consecutive games since Nov. 19-21. Goaltender Calvin Pickard will start for the first time since Semyon Varlamov had season-ending groin surgery Thursday. Pickard made 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Islanders on Jan. 6, the last win for the Avalanche. He started at the Ducks on Jan. 19 and made 34 saves but gave up two goals in the third period of a 2-1 loss. "I can't put extra pressure on myself," Pickard told the Denver Post on Monday. "Like the first couple months of the season, when I was playing every third or fourth game, I would just go out there to give my team a chance to win. That's all you can ask for."


Ducks team scope

Anaheim Ducks forward Nate Thompson is expected to make his season debut after recovering from a ruptured right Achilles tendon sustained in June. Thompson is likely to center the fourth line with Joseph Cramarossa and Logan Shaw. Forward Jakob Silfverberg, who missed three games with an upper-body injury sustained against the Avalanche on Jan. 19, also is expected to return. "The availability of Thompson, the availability of Silfverberg, it kind of solidifies our lineup, and it's closer to what we envisioned," coach Randy Carlyle said Tuesday. "Now, it's time to prove it." Silfverberg is third on the Ducks in goals with 13 and tied for fourth in points with 29. "It's been a tough couple weeks of watching the guys play," Silfverberg said. "The All-Star break came at a pretty good time for me. I really had time to recover and work out pretty hard during the break too, so I made sure to be ready, and I feel good right now." Anaheim is in third place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers. This will be the Ducks' final home game before a 15-day, six-game road trip. Forward Corey Perry is one point from 700 in his NHL career.


Avalanche projected lineup

Rene Bourque -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog -- Matt Duchene -- Matt Nieto

Blake Comeau -- Carl Soderberg -- Jarome Iginla

Mikhail Grigorenko -- John Mitchell -- Andreas Martinsen

Tyson Barrie -- Fedor Tyutin

Francois Beauchemin -- Nikita Zadorov

Patrick Wiercioch -- Eric Gelinas

Calvin Pickard

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Joe Colborne, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Erik Johnson (lower body), Semyon Varlamov (groin)


Ducks projected lineup

Jakob Silfverberg -- Ryan Kesler -- Andrew Cogliano

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Joseph Cramarossa -- Nate Thompson -- Logan Shaw 

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Korbinian Holzer -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll

Injured: Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres (upper body) 


Status report

Because of the depth the Ducks are adding with the returns of Silfverberg and Thompson, some Anaheim players are going to be on the edge of their seats, Carlyle said.


Who's hot

Gibson is 8-2-2 with 13 goals against and two shutouts in his past 13 games. … Zadorov has three assists in his past two games.

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