Colorado Avalanche Logo and Header
Colorado
Avalanche
44-31-7
Vancouver
Canucks
39-33-10

20 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
VAN
game preview

Avalanche-Canucks Preview

Tuesday, 04.01.2008 / 5:00 PM

Associated Press

The Vancouver Canucks have been playing well at home late in the regular season. They'll try to rely on that home-ice advantage to end a long losing streak against the Colorado Avalanche and draw closer to a playoff berth.

After stopping one slide its last time out, Vancouver will try to snap a five-game skid against Colorado on Tuesday night.

The Canucks (39-30-10) posted a pair of one-goal victories in their first two games versus the Avalanche in 2007-08. Colorado, though, has dominated in five games since, outscoring Vancouver 19-9.

"We played well against them the last few games," Colorado head coach Joel Quenneville said of Vancouver, which is 7-1-3 in its last 11 overall at GM Place. "We know it's going to be a very important game."

The Canucks' struggles against the Avs this season are just one reason why Vancouver has yet to clinch its sixth playoff berth in seven seasons. Alain Vigneault's club starts play tonight in eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Nashville and two in front of Edmonton.

Vancouver will face Edmonton on Thursday before finishing up the regular season against Calgary on Saturday.

"There are a lot of teams in this (playoff race)," Vigneault said. "Edmonton is there, Nashville is there, Calgary is there, Colorado is there. Everybody is right in the mix."

The Canucks hope an offensive outburst from their last game will carry over to this one after they scored five unanswered goals - two from 19-year veteran Trevor Linden - in a 6-2 victory over the Flames on Sunday. Vancouver scored just six goals during its four-game losing streak.

It was the first multi-goal game in more than five years for the 37-year-old Linden, long regarded as one of the best players in Canucks history.

"I thought (Washington's Alex) Ovechkin was out there tonight for us," Vancouver's Alex Burrows told the Canucks' official Web site. "(Trevor) was just flying and playing well, playing with confidence. ... It was two great goals for us and that's why we call him Mr. Clutch."

A healthy scratch for 23 games this season, Linden has failed to notch a point in his last nine against Colorado.

With three games remaining, Vancouver also needs clutch performances from Roberto Luongo. He made 27 saves against the Flames for his first win in five starts, but Luongo has allowed 17 goals during the losing streak to the Avs, starting all five contests.

Playing its second-to-last game of the season, sixth-place Colorado (42-31-7) has 91 points, three more than Vancouver. The Avs, though, had their three-game winning streak halted Sunday with a 3-2 loss to Minnesota when Jose Theodore was beaten by Marian Gaborik 3:10 into overtime.

"We know we're in a good position (to get into the playoffs), but we know we still have to win," Colorado's Joe Sakic said. "We have to play well in Vancouver."

Colorado played without Peter Forsberg, who was scratched with a groin injury and is day-to-day. The 2003 MVP made his season debut March 4 at home against Vancouver, and had three assists Wednesday in a 6-3 victory over the Canucks in Denver.

Colorado is 6-1-0 with Forsberg in the lineup. He's got nine assists, but has yet to score a goal.

The Avalanche wraps up the regular season Sunday at home against playoff-bound Minnesota.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 01 '08COL 4 at VAN 2W. Wolski
Mar 26 '08VAN 3 at COL 6M. Hejduk
Mar 04 '08VAN 1 at COL 2J. Liles
Feb 27 '08COL 3 at VAN 2 - SOJ. Sakic
Feb 09 '08COL 6 at VAN 2M. Svatos
Dec 23 '07VAN 1 at COL 3C. McCormick
Nov 09 '07COL 1 at VAN 2 - OTH. Sedin
Nov 03 '07VAN 4 at COL 3D. Sedin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
ColoradoAvalanche.com is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and ColoradoAvalanche.com are trademarks of Colorado Avalanche, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.