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Preview: Avalanche at Canucks

Colorado hoping for fresh start; Vancouver going for fourth straight win

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

AVALANCHE (12-23-1) at CANUCKS (17-18-3)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, ALT2, NHL.TV


Avalanche team scope

The Colorado Avalanche will have new lines for the New Year as they try to end a three-game losing streak (0-3-0). Coming off a 6-2 loss against the New York Rangers on Saturday that featured line juggling before and during the game, the Avalanche changed lines again in practice Sunday. Matt Duchene moved back to center between Mikko Rantanen and Jarome Iginla, and center Nathan McKinnon was between Gabriel Landeskog and Rene Bourque. "We have to find ways to start fresh here," Landeskog said. "I know that's not what the standings are saying but that's the way we have to look at it." The Avalanche have 25 points, the fewest points in the Western Conference. "It's definitely been a challenge for everybody," Iginla said. "It's easy to get down but that doesn't help anything and it's a young team here. We have to keep on working to do things the right way to improve. It's the first game of our New Year so you want to start it off right and feel good." Goalie Calvin Pickard will start his fifth consecutive game with Semyon Varlamov out because of a groin injury.


Canucks team scope

The Vancouver Canucks will try for their fourth straight victory, which would match their longest of the season, when they won their first four games of 2016-17. They'll have to do it without forward Alexandre Burrows, who will not play because of an eye injury. "He got a scratch on his eye," coach Willie Desjardins said. "He'll be out one game I think. … It's not serious." Anton Rodin will play his second NHL game in Burrows' spot at right wing with left wing Sven Baertschi and center Bo Horvat, who has four assists his past three games and leads the Canucks with 25 points. Rodin was the Swedish Hockey League MVP last season despite a skate cut that required knee surgery and ended his season in January. Rodin had two goals and three assists in five preseason games before aggravating the injury and missing the first two months this season. He played 7:18 in his NHL debut Dec. 23 and has been a healthy scratch the past three games. "I was a bit nervous my first game of the season, my first NHL game too, but I hope this one gets better," Rodin said. "It helps to have guys that are hot to carry you a bit." Ryan Miller will start in goal after a 42-save performance by Jacob Markstrom against the Oilers. "When both your guys are playing well it's a good sign," Desjardins said.


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Rene Bourque

Mikko Rantanen -- Matt Duchene -- Jarome Iginla

Blake Comeau -- Carl Soderberg -- Mikhail Grigorenko

Cody McLeod -- John Mitchell -- Andreas Martinsen

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin -- Nikita Zadorov

Patrick Wiercioch -- Eric Gelinas

Calvin Pickard

Jeremy Smith

Scratched: Joe Colborne, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Erik Johnson (broken fibula), Semyon Varlamov (groin)


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Jayson Megna

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Anton Rodin

Brendan Gaunce -- Michael Chaput -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched:Alex Biega

Injured:Alexandre Burrows (eye), Jannik Hansen (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery), Derek Dorsett (neck surgery), Philip Larsen (concussion)


Status report

Varlamov skated on his own Sunday but is not with the Avalanche on its two-game road trip that concludes at the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Beauchemin missed practice Sunday because of an illness but will play Monday. … Canucks defenseman Andrey Pedan was sent to Utica of the American Hockey League on Monday.


Who's hot

Barrie has six assists during a four-game point streak. Miller has allowed three goals in his past two starts, winning both. He can become the third United States-born goalie to win 350 games, joining John Vanbiesbrouck (374) and Tom Barrasso (369), 

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