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Fisher to make Preds debut vs. reeling Avs

by Deborah Francisco
AVALANCHE (25-24-6) AT PREDATORS (29-19-7)


Last 10 -- Colorado 2-8-0; Nashville 5-4-1

Season series - This is the second meeting of four between the Avalanche and Predators. The first contest resulted in a 5-1 victory for the Predators at Colroado on Jan. 20 thanks to a 32-save performance by goalie Pekka Rinne.

Big story -- Both teams are showing off some New faces -- Peter Forsberg is slated to make his second appearance with the Avs after signing with the club on Feb. 6 and playing his first NHL game in three years on Friday night. Nashville welcomes center Mike Fisher, who will make his debut for the Predators after being acquired from Ottawa in a trade on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Avalanche - Colorado has slumped right into 14th place in the Western Conference standings after dropping six straight in a row. The Avs have just three goals in their last four games after falling 3-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Forsberg made his season debut in that contest and any worries that he expressed prior to the game about keeping up with the pace of the NHL were quickly put to rest as he proved that he still has what it takes to perform at this level.

"You know what? He actually played better than I expected him to," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "He was arguably our best player tonight."

Predators -- The Predators are going for it. They followed Wednesday's 4-1 win at Detroit by bringing in Fisher from Ottawa a day later. It's the kind of trade that Nashville has rarely made in its tenure in the NHL -- bringing in a name player with a healthy contract.

"The playoffs are now," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We're five points behind Detroit in the division, but we're also five points from being out of the playoff picture."

Who's hot -- Sergei Kostitsyn notched his 100th career point on Wednesday night and has 6 points in five games after getting a goal and an assist in Detroit. He is second on the Preds in scoring with 32 points, including 15 goals.

Injury report -- Nashville is without Francis Bouillon (upper body), Marek Svatos (lower body), Cal O'Reilly (leg), Matthew Lombardi (concussion) and Jordin Tootoo (personal reasons). … Avalanche captain Adam Foote missed Wednesday's and Friday's contests with a leg injury and he is listed as day-to-day. Colorado is also without Kyle Cumiskey (head) and TJ Galiardi (wrist). Forward Peter Mueller (concussion) is out indefinitely, while forward Tomas Fleischmann (pulmonary emboli) and defenseman Kyle Quincey (shoulder) are out for the season.

Stat pack -- The Predators' penalty-killers are 20-for-21 in the last six games, solidifying their No. 3 ranking in the NHL (86 percent). On home ice, their PK is even better - extinguishing 23-of-24 power-plays in seven games since Christmas, moving them into a tie for first in the NHL (89.2 percent).

Puck drop - "I could have played better, but hopefully it gets better. I'm going to take it one game at a time," Forsberg said of his first game back. "Overall our team doesn't have too much confidence right now. For my side, I just have to keep on working. It was my first game in a long time, and I just need to keep on working. Hopefully it will get better and better."

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