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Wild-Avalanche Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Minnesota Wild (36-35-7) at Colorado Avalanche (42-27-8).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EDT.

The Avalanche acquired Jose Theodore in a trade on March 8 to bring in an experienced goaltender for a postseason run.

With the playoffs less than two weeks away, the former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner may finally make his debut when Colorado hosts the Minnesota Wild.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said Theodore has looked good while practicing this week with his new team.

"I think he looks good in net," Quenneville said. "I think he's working on his timing each and every day and feels better physically, feels better in his timing and how he's moving ... Sunday is a possibility."

If Peter Budaj gets the start, Theodore may see action Tuesday in Colorado's regular season home finale against Phoenix. The Avs close the season with a three-game road trip against Northwest Division rivals Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.

Colorado acquired Theodore from Montreal for David Aebischer, but Theodore has not played since suffering a fractured right heel while putting salt on ice outside his Montreal home during the Olympic break.

Theodore began the season with six wins in his first seven starts, but recorded just three wins and a 4.63 goals-against average in his final 11 starts before being dealt and lost his job to Cristobal Huet.

Theodore also was on Canada's preliminary Olympic eligibility list, but wasn't placed on the final squad after a positive December drug test for a steroid masking agent. A Canadiens team doctor said the prescription drug, Propecia, was being used to promote hair growth.

Colorado has alternated wins in losses in its last nine games after a 4-2 win Saturday over St. Louis. Joe Sakic scored a goal to tie Hall of Famer Mike Bossy for 17th on the all-time list with 573.

"We have to worry about a playoff spot," Sakic said. "We've had a pretty good year, got a lot of wins. The way the game is being played now, especially with the shootouts, a lot of the teams out west are good teams. It makes for an exciting race."

Minnesota's playoff hopes ended Friday with a 2-1 loss to the Flames, but Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez said they will make things tough for teams looking to get into the postseason.

"We're just trying our best and trying to stay in hockey games with teams that are either in the playoffs or trying to get in there," said Fernandez, who made 27 saves. "We're definitely not going to sit it out and just wait until next year, that's for sure."

Fernandez, whose career high for wins coming into this season was 19, looks to become the first Wild goalie to reach 30 victories in a season.

To do so, he will need to post his first career win in Denver. He has six losses and a tie there in his career.

STANDINGS: Wild - 79 points, 5th place, 19 PB, Northwest Division. Avalanche - 92 points, 2nd place, 6 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Marian Gaborik, 34 goals; Brian Rolston, 44 assists and 77 points; Derek Boogaard, 154 PIM. Avalanche - Sakic, 31 goals, 53 assists and 83 points; Ian Laperriere, 109 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Wild - Power play: 17.3 percent (74 for 428), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.4 percent (359 for 411), 1st. Avalanche - Power play: 19.3 percent (85 for 441), 7th. Penalty killing: 84.0 percent (351 for 418), 8th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Fernandez (29-18-6, 1 SO, 2.26 GAA); Josh Harding (1-0-0, 0, 3.69). Avalanche - Theodore (17-15-5, 0, 3.46); Budaj (14-10-6, 2, 2.80).

SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 5-2.

LAST MEETING: March 5; Wild, 5-3. At St. Paul, Minn., Wes Walz scored twice and Gaborik's second career short-handed goal snapped a 3-3 tie early in the third period. Alex Tanguay assisted on all three Colorado goals.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 14-19-5 on the road; Avalanche - 24-9-6 at home.

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