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44-31-7

29 SOG
39 SOG
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Canucks-Avalanche Preview

Saturday, 11.25.2006 / 6:00 PM

Associated Press

The Colorado Avalanche hope to settle an erratic goaltending situation and build on an impressive win when they host the Vancouver Canucks for the third time this season on Saturday.

The Avs (10-10-2) lost a season-high four in a row from Nov. 7-15, with Jose Theodore starting in net in three of those defeats. Colorado benched Theodore after a 4-3 loss to San Jose and replaced him with Peter Budaj, who won two of three starts to get the Avs back on track.

Theodore got the start on Wednesday and made 30 saves before stopping all three shootout attempts to help Colorado beat Western Conference-leading Anaheim 3-2. The win snapped a three-game home losing streak for the Avs.

They've won three of their last four games overall, with the last two victories coming in the shootout.

"We found a way to get to the shootout, and this year we've got a couple of wins with it," said captain Joe Sakic, who scored the lone shootout goal. "They are the best team in hockey and it was a big win for us."

Theodore has won both meetings with Vancouver (11-11-1) this season, stopping 62 of 66 shots in a pair of 3-2 victories at the Pepsi Center. He was 0-6-1 with a tie and 3.93 goals-against average in his previous eight starts against the Canucks.

Sakic, who leads the Avs with nine goals and 23 points, has 89 points in 65 games against Vancouver - his most versus any opponent.

The Canucks are looking to rebound from a 6-0 loss at Nashville on Thursday that ended their season-high three-game win streak.

"Our execution with the puck was off," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We could have played better in front of our goaltenders. This loss was obviously a team loss. We weren't good enough in all areas."

Vancouver also has some goaltending issues.

Roberto Luongo is expected to start for the Canucks on Saturday after backup Dany Sabourin allowed five goals before being pulled at the 12:37 mark of the second period Thursday. Luongo finished the period before Sabourin returned for the third.

Sabourin has struggled with a 4.13 GAA in three games, while Luongo has been inconsistent with an 11-9-1 mark and 2.47 GAA.

Luongo has lost both his matchups with Theodore and Colorado this season, and is 0-6-0 with a 3.57 GAA in his career against the Avs.

Colorado has won six of the last nine meetings in this series, and is 5-0-1 in the previous six matchups at the Pepsi Center.

These teams face off again next Saturday in Vancouver, where the Canucks have won three of the past four meetings in the series.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 05 '07COL 3 at VAN 1M. Hejduk
Mar 27 '07VAN 3 at COL 0S. Salo
Mar 25 '07COL 5 at VAN 4 - SOB. McLean
Feb 18 '07COL 4 at VAN 5B. Morrison
Dec 02 '06COL 1 at VAN 2T. Pyatt
Nov 25 '06VAN 1 at COL 4P. Stastny
Nov 04 '06VAN 2 at COL 3A. Brunette
Oct 08 '06VAN 2 at COL 3M. Svatos
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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