GAME: Colorado Avalanche (21-10-7-1) at Nashville Predators (18-16-4-2).
TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.
With all of their top six forwards finally on the ice together, the Colorado
Avalanche look to extend their season-best winning streak to five games when
they begin a three-game road trip against the Nashville Predators.
On Tuesday, Paul Kariya returned after missing 21 games because of a
sprained right wrist, and Joe Sakic came back after sitting out Colorado's
previous contest following surgery for a broken jaw.
Sakic had a goal and an assist, and Kariya also scored as the Avs beat the
Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 at home for their fourth straight win.
It was the first time since Oct. 21 that Colorado had Sakic, Kariya, Teemu
Selanne, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay and Peter Forsberg all play in a game
"It was fun to get out there and play some hockey again," said Kariya, who
hadn't played since Nov. 15 and has missed 31 games overall since first
spraining his wrist on Oct. 21. "It's been a long time, and it's good that I
could help the team.
"We haven't been together since early in the season, so it's great that
we're all back."
Colorado having Kariya and Sakic back, however, is not great for Nashville.
The duo has combined for 39 points in 38 games against the Predators, who
come into this contest on a two-game losing streak after falling 2-1 on the
road Tuesday to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nashville held a 1-0 lead after two periods, but allowed Toronto defenseman
Bryan McCabe to score twice in the first 10 minutes of the third.
The defeat was costly as the Predators lost defensemen Jamie Allison (head
injury), Kimmo Timonen (neck) and forward Jason Morgan (sprained shoulder).
Coach Barry Trotz said they are day-to-day and added that Nashville will make
some roster moves soon.
"We lost two defensemen along the way. Basically from the midpoint of the
game we played with four defensemen," Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun said. "It
was a hard game."
Colorado is 2-0-2 in its last four road games, while Nashville is unbeaten
in regulation in its last six home contests (3-0-2-1).