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Ducks-Avalanche Preview @NHLdotcom

A victory in their latest contest moved the Anaheim Ducks into playoff position in the Western Conference. Another win over the Colorado Avalanche could move them further up the standings.

On Wednesday night, the surging Ducks look to equal their season high with a fifth straight victory while trying for a third consecutive win over the host Avalanche, who hope to avoid losing their fifth in a row.

Anaheim (36-31-6) won 2-1 in a shootout at Nashville on Tuesday to move into a tie with the Predators for the eighth and final playoff spot with nine games remaining. The Ducks have one more victory than the Predators.

"Points are at a premium," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were fortunate enough to steal an extra point in the shootout."

A victory in this contest and Anaheim would move past seventh-place Edmonton into that spot by one point. The Ducks last won five in a row from Oct. 21-29.

Facing Colorado (31-40-2) - last in the West - could help Anaheim further improve its playoff positioning. The Ducks have outscored the Avalanche 8-4 in two wins this season, including a 4-3 victory at Colorado on Jan. 31 in the teams' most recent meeting.

Teemu Selanne had a goal in that contest, giving him three against his former team this season. The 38-year-old forward had an assist and scored the only shootout goal Tuesday for the Ducks, who went to overtime or a shootout in three of their last four victories.

Rookie Drew Miller scored his third goal in his last four games for Anaheim, which has tallied 15 over the last four contests.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 31 saves to improve to 19-17-5 this season. Jonas Hiller, however, could be in goal due to the back-to-back scenario.

Hiller is 17-14-1 with a 2.30 goals-against average this season, and 2-1-0 with a 1.65 GAA all-time versus Colorado.

The Avalanche lost 3-1 at San Jose on Sunday to fall to 3-10-1 since winning three in a row in mid-February.

Scott Hannan scored his first goal of the season for Colorado, which returns to the Pepsi Center after falling 8-1 to the Oilers on Thursday for the worst home defeat in franchise history.

While key players Adam Foote and Marek Svatos are expected to miss this contest because of head injuries, the Avalanche will definitely be without star Paul Stastny. Fourth on the team with 36 points in just 45 games, Stastny is out for at least two weeks and could miss the rest of the season with a broken foot.

Andrew Raycroft made 25 saves Sunday and could earn a second consecutive start since Peter Budaj dropped to 19-27-2 with a 2.98 GAA after struggling against Edmonton.

Raycroft is 12-13-0 with a 3.11 GAA this season, and 2-0-0 with a 2.47 GAA all-time versus the Ducks.

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