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Flyers, Avalanche hope to get back to winning ways

by Brian Hunter /

FLYERS (12-7-1) at AVALANCHE (13-7-3)

Last 10: Philadelphia 7-3-0; Colorado 3-6-1

Season series:
The Flyers and Avalanche are meeting for the only time this season. They also played in Colorado early in the 2008-09 season, with the home team recording a 5-2 victory. Paul Stastny was one of five players to score for the Avalanche, picking up a goal and an assist.

Big Story: Each team figures to be especially hungry for two points out of this matchup. After winning in Los Angeles to begin a five-game road trip, Philadelphia has lost two in a row and will be playing its third in four nights. Colorado, meanwhile, continues to lead the Northwest Division, but by the slimmest of margins over Calgary after having dropped five of its last six (1-4-1).

Team Scope:

Flyers: For the second game in a row, the opponent's power play did in Philadelphia. San Jose scored twice with the man advantage to beat the Flyers 6-3 on Friday and Phoenix handed them a 3-1 defeat Saturday, getting the first goal of the game and the winning score in the same fashion.

"We have to do a better job, first of all, of staying out of the penalty box," Scott Hartnell told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We've taken too many penalties in the last five or six games."

Avalanche: The lone victory for Colorado in its past half-dozen games was an important one, 3-2 at Calgary on Tuesday to keep the Flames from leapfrogging the Avalanche into first place. But then they allowed a third-period leads to slip away in each of their last two games, falling 6-4 in Edmonton and 5-2 in Vancouver.

"As soon as you start playing with the lead like you're trying not to lose, you will lose," defenseman Kyle Quincey told the Denver Post. "We have to learn that. We've done that two games in a row now, and we've got to stop it. That's the frustrating part, we see how good we are in the first two periods and then we come out and play a totally different style of hockey, and we're not good enough to play like that."

Who's Hot: Claude Giroux assisted on a Scott Hartnell goal Saturday to extend his points streak for the Flyers to four games (2-5-7), while David Jones has goals in two straight for the Avalanche and Milan Hejduk has collected three goals in his last three games.

Injury Report:
Philadelphia forward Blair Betts will miss the next month after suffering a dislocated shoulder against Phoenix. Forward Arron Asham (oblique) is skating, but likely to miss another week. Forward Simon Gagne (groin) could be back in mid-to-late December.

Colorado captain Adam Foote (jaw) is doubtful for Monday's game, while forward Matt Hendricks (groin) has been placed on injured reserve.

Stat Pack: Rookie center Matt Duchene has been getting the job done for the Avalanche in the faceoff circle of late, winning 71.4 percent of his draws (25 of 35) over the past three games. He's also chipped in a goal and two assists in the last two games, giving the No. 3 pick in this year's Entry Draft 10 points for the season.

Puck Drop: Craig Anderson will make his 22nd start of the season in goal for Colorado. He faced Philadelphia once last season while playing for Florida, and turned in a magnificent performance, stopping 40 shots in a 4-2 win on March 26. Anderson, who has won just two of his last eight starts following a 10-1-2 start, could use a solid game to get himself and the Avalanche back on track.

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