AVALANCHE (14-2-0) at HURRICANES (6-7-4)
TV: ALT, SPSO
Last 10: Colorado 8-2-0; Carolina 4-5-1
Season series: This is the second and final regular-season meeting between the Avalanche and Hurricanes. Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist Oct. 25 to lead Colorado to a 4-2 win against the Hurricanes at Pepsi Center.
Big story: Colorado already has a pair of six-game win streaks on the young season, and if the Avalanche win Tuesday it will be halfway to another one. The Avs are first in the NHL in goals-against average (1.75), third on the penalty kill (88.5 percent) and fourth in goals scored per game (3.38). Colorado is also the only team left in the league undefeated when scoring first, so the Hurricanes might want to grab the upper hand early Tuesday night in Raleigh.
Avalanche: One area where Colorado can still look for improvement is in shots allowed. The Avalanche enters Tuesday giving up an average of 32 shots per game, which ranks 24th in the NHL. But the way Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere have played, it hasn't come back to bite the club.
Varlamov stole the show Sunday night against the Washington Capitals, stopping 33 shots in a 4-1 victory. Defenseman Nick Holden's first NHL goal snapped a tie late in the second period before PA Parenteau and Gabriel Landeskog added insurance tallies in the third.
"It was great, especially against my old team," said Varlamov, who played for the Capitals from 2008-11. "It's always tough to play against Washington. They have so many good players, the best power play in the League, but I think we did a great job, and that's why we got a positive result."
Hurricanes: For a team whose anticipated starting and backup goalies are both out, Carolina has managed to stay afloat, and the Hurricanes received good news with Cam Ward returning to practice Sunday. It's unlikely he will be ready for game action until this weekend at the earliest, but he's still ahead of schedule after leaving an Oct. 24 game with a lower-body injury.
"He needs to be healthy and 100 percent," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "He needs practices, and he needs to be looking sharp and confident."
In the meantime, netminder Justin Peters continued a strong recent stretch by making 28 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Peters is 2-0-1 in his past three starts, giving up just three goals.
"We need everyone pushing and pulling in the same direction all the time," Peters said. "We've proven to ourselves the last few games that when we do that we get results."
Who's hot: Duchene has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak and has 10 points (5g/5a) in his last seven games for the Avalanche. Parenteau has three goals and two assists during a four-game point streak.
Injury report: Colorado defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) and forward Alex Tanguay (knee) are both expected to miss another week at least. … In addition to Ward, Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason (upper body) is also practicing with Carolina and closing in on a return. Forward Kevin Westgarth (upper body) is day-to-day. Goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body) and forward Jeff Skinner (upper body) are on Injured Reserve.
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