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Avs Embark On Four-Game Road Swing

Liles Practices And Will Join Team On Road Trip

Monday, 10.26.2009 / 12:21 PM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to
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Avs Embark On Four-Game Road Swing
After gaining home victories over the Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings this past weekend, the Colorado Avalanche hit the ice at Family Sports Center on Monday morning before hopping on a flight to Edmonton to open a four-game road swing.

While the team’s 4-0 start on Pepsi Center ice is impressive, Colorado’s 4-1-2 record away from Denver is even more eye-popping. The team hopes to keep up that pace during a four-game, six-day swing that will also go through Calgary, San Jose and Vancouver.

The Avalanche’s first road trip of the season showed what the team is capable of, but this trip may be even more telling when you consider that Colorado will face three Northwest Division opponents in the next week.

“We really want to separate ourselves from those teams, so it’s a huge deal when you beat those teams,” said defenseman Kyle Quincey. “Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver all play the same kind of style. They’re going to wear you down and capitalize on your mistakes. We need to win our battles and minimize mistakes.”

After completing this road swing – which will make it 11 of the last 13 games on the road for the Avs – the team will return to Denver and play four of its next five contests at Pepsi Center.

Practice Notes
If Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco’s line combinations at Monday’s practice are any indication, the line of Wojtek Wolski, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk will be reunited for Tuesday’s contest at Rexall Place. The trio skated together this morning while wearing gray sweaters.

Also of note, Matt Duchene centered a line of T.J. Galiardi and Marek Svatos, while Ryan O’Reilly had David Jones on his left side and Chris Stewart on his right.

Injured defenseman Tom Preissing (knee) was on the ice before Monday’s practice, working with assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre on skating and passing drills. Preissing then stayed on the ice for the first few sets of drills before taking his leave.

John-Michael Liles (shoulder) went through a full practice, wearing an orange non-contact sweater. Following the skate, Sacco said that Liles will be traveling with the team on this trip and that he hopes to have him back in the lineup at some point in the next four games.

Sacco also noted that goaltender Peter Budaj is still experiencing flu-like symptoms and will not begin the trip with the team. The head coach did say that he hopes Budaj will meet up with the team at some point on the road swing.

Craig Anderson will make his 12th straight start tomorrow in Edmonton.

The Other Side
The Oilers have taken advantage of an early-season slate that’s seen them play seven of their 11 games at home. Currently third in the Northwest Division and seventh in the Western Conference with 13 points (6-4-1), Edmonton has posted a 5-1-1 mark in seven home games.

Much like the Avalanche, the Oilers played back-to-back games this past weekend, dropping road contests to Calgary (5-2) and Vancouver (2-0) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
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