Note: The Avalanche enters tonight's game against the Ducks as winners of the Central Division after the St. Louis Blues' lost on Sunday afternoon.
AVALANCHE (52-22-7) at DUCKS (53-20-8)
TV: ALT, PRIME
Last 10: Colorado 8-1-1; Anaheim 7-2-1
Season series: This is the third and final game between the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks. The Avalanche earned a 6-1 win on home ice back on Oct. 2, but Anaheim responded with a 6-4 victory at Pepsi Center on March 14.
Big story: Anaheim clinched the top spot in the Western Conference on Saturday night. On Sunday, the Avalanche will be provided with an opportunity to win the Central Division. It entered the final day of the season even with the St. Louis Blues at 111 points apiece; the Blues host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. With more victories in the ROW (regulation/overtime wins) column, Colorado has the tiebreaker should the teams remain tied at the end of action Sunday. If the Avalanche win the division, it will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Otherwise, the team will go up against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Avalanche: Sunday marks Colorado's second attempt at winning the Central Division. The Avalanche could have clinched the division Friday night, but fell short in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.
The good news for Colorado is it could have the division wrapped up before it takes the ice. If the Blues lose in regulation to the Red Wings, the Avalanche would clinch because the teams would still have 111 points each.
"If it happens, it happens and it's a bonus," goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere told the team website. "If not, it doesn't matter. Every team that is going to be in the playoffs is going to be a good team."
Ducks: Anaheim won its first Western Conference regular-season title Saturday when it earned a point en route to a 4-3 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. For good measure, though, the Ducks picked up a second point in the standings when Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the fourth round of the tiebreaker.
It's the first time in franchise history the Ducks have won the Western Conference during the regular season.
"They all knew they just needed a point," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the team website. "We never talked about it, but you could tell after the game was over, they all knew. Some of them were high-fiving each other. That's a pretty big accomplishment for them. Then, we said, 'Let's go win it in a shootout.'"
Who's hot: Left wing Patrick Bordeleau scored for Colorado on Friday, giving him two goals in his past four games. Ryan O'Reilly has points in five of his past six (two goals, four assists). … Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey has scored in three straight games. Center Daniel Winnik has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past seven and defenseman Hampus Lindholm has three assists in the past four.
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