GAME: Colorado Avalanche (18-10-7-1) at Vancouver Canucks (21-9-6-2).
TIME: Friday, 10 p.m. EST.
The Colorado Avalanche are used to being on top of the Northwest Division at
the end of the season. The Vancouver Canucks are trying their best to keep that
from happening this time.
The first-place Canucks hope to beat the second-place Avalanche for the
second time in six days as the teams meet up at GM Place.
The Canucks, who are one win away from their first three-game winning streak
since a five-game run from Oct. 28-Nov. 5, hold a six-point lead over Calgary
and Colorado in the division.
Colorado, which has won nine straight division titles, hasn't made up much
ground in the standings of late, going 4-3-5 in December.
Vancouver, which topped Colorado 3-2 last Monday, is coming off a 4-3
overtime win over Chicago on Wednesday.
Todd Bertuzzi scored a power-play goal off a rebound of Markus Naslund's
shot at 4:33 of overtime as the Canucks regrouped after squandering a two-goal
"We got to understand that we have to put teams away early. We can't let
teams stick around," Bertuzzi said. "To let them back in the game was a
mistake on our part, but we're fortunate to get two points out of it."
Vancouver has lost just two of its last 12 games (7-2-3).
The Avalanche, meanwhile, are coming off a 2-1 win over Calgary on
Peter Worrell and Steve Moore scored their first goals of the season, and
David Aebischer made 30 saves for Colorado.
"We can't rely on Joe (Sakic) and Peter (Forsberg)'s line all the time
because every night, every team is going out there to stop them," Worrell
said. "We've got some good players on other lines and we have to be able to
Aebischer improved to 15-7-5.
"He's playing good for us right now," Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said
of his goaltender. "He's focused and giving us a chance to win. We're
fortunate to have him back there for us playing the way he is."
Colorado won for just the second time in nine games (2-3-4).