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Wild look to extend win streak, lead over Avalanche

Teams in tight race for second wild card from Western Conference

by Dan Myers / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (36-28-11) at AVALANCHE (38-32-4)

TV: 3 p.m. ET; FS-N, ALT, NHL.TV

Season series: The Minnesota Wild have at least a point in four games against the Colorado Avalanche, winning three. Minnesota's Zach Parise and Jason Pominville each has seven points. Defenseman Tyson Barrie has a goal and three assists for Colorado.

Wild team scope: Minnesota will try to extend its winning streak to five games and its three-point lead over the Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "It's a big game and we all know the importance of it," Wild coach John Torchetti told the Star Tribune. "There's still a bunch of games left after that. So game by game as we go. Every game is big. It just happens to be a four-point game. [We'll] see what the results are and then we move on." The Wild aren't expected to make any changes to their lineup; forward Jason Zucker will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game and fourth time in the past eight. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk will start.

Avalanche team scope: Colorado had off-ice workouts and a meeting Friday, one day after losing a third-period lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-2 loss at Pepsi Center. "I wanted guys to go home today and rest and not [be] looking at the big picture," coach Patrick Roy told the Avalanche website. "If you're looking at the big picture, it's going to be scary. If you're just looking at tomorrow, [being] ready at the start of the game, I think that's the approach you need to have." Forwards Matt Duchene (knee) and Nathan MacKinnon (knee) will not play. Roy said he expects no changes to the lineup; that means goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who made 41 saves against the Flyers, will start.

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