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Preview: Avalanche at Hurricanes

Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce game-time decision; Colorado looks to avoid sixth consecutive loss

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

AVALANCHE (15-38-2) at HURRICANES (24-22-7)

7:30 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-CR, NHL.TV

 

Avalanche team scope

The Colorado Avalanche will finish a five-game, eight-day road trip trying to avoid a sixth straight loss and a 12th straight road loss. The Avalanche lost 2-0 at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the ninth time they were shut out this season. "My frustration comes game by game when we don't play the way we are capable of playing," coach Jared Bednar said Thursday. "We didn't create enough scoring chances to win the hockey game. We didn't earn a power play. [We were] not competitive enough early in the game." Bednar juggled his lines in search of offense, and said he was pleased with the combination of center John Mitchell with Jarome Iginla and Mikhail Grigorenko. The Avalanche are 0-10-1 in their past 11 road games and 3-4-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

 

Hurricanes team scope

Defenseman Brett Pesce will be a game-time decision for the Carolina Hurricanes because of an illness. Pesce, who leads the Hurricanes with a plus-13 rating, has not missed a game this season. "He's a little under the weather," coach Bill Peters said. "Just didn't have a good night last night. Hopefully he gets some rest here today. I think he will play, but we will know after warmup." The Hurricanes, who resume play following their five-day break, are eight points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They are 3-7-0 in their past 10 games, but 6-2-0 in their past eight home games. They play their next five games at PNC Arena, where they are 17-6-1 this season. "We've got these next five here at home that are big," said forward Jordan Staal, who has four goals and 10 assists in his past 14 games. "Hopefully everybody is physically and mentally rested, and we can have a strong homestand." Peters juggled his forward lines a bit, putting Teuvo Teravainen between Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak. Skinner has one goal and one assist in his past 11 games. Goaltender Cam Ward will make his 27th start in the past 29 games.

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Mikhail Grigorenko -- Matt Duchene -- Matt Nieto

Blake Comeau -- John Mitchell -- Jarome Iginla

Carl Soderberg -- Joe Colborne -- Andreas Martinsen

Francois Beauchemin -- Tyson Barrie

Mark Barberio -- Nikita Zadorov

Fedor Tyutin -- Cody Goloubef

Calvin Pickard

Jeremy Smith

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Rene Bourque (head), Erik Johnson (leg), Semyon Varlamov (groin/hip)

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Teuvo Teravainen -- Lee Stempniak

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Derek Ryan

Joakim Nordstrom -- Jay McClement -- Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Ron Hainsey -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Klas Dahlbeck

Scratched: Ty Rattie, Ryan Murphy, Matt Tennyson

Injured: Bryan Bickell (illness)

 

Status report

The Avalanche did not hold a morning skate. ... If Pesce doesn't play, Tennyson would take his spot and play alongside Slavin, Peters said.

 

Who's hot

Rantanen (three goals, three assists) and Landeskog (two goals, four assists) each has six points in his past seven games. … Lindholm has three goals and 15 assists in his past 16 games. Aho has five goals and one assist in his past five games. 

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