|COL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|FLA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
The fashion in which the Colorado Avalanche won its last game was certainly questionable. There's not much debate, however, over how good the club has been at Florida.
After benefiting from a controversial call in a shootout, the Avalanche looks to win its ninth straight road game against the Panthers when the teams meet Sunday.
Colorado (16-15-1) had lost five of seven on the road before beating Tampa Bay 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday night, but there was a dispute over the decisive score.
Avalanche winger Milan Hejduk was awarded the lone goal in the shootout when Lightning goalie Mike Smith was penalized for throwing his stick. Smith's stick came loose when he was making a save on Hejduk's backhander. After discussing the play for several minutes, the officials awarded Hejduk the goal.
Colorado has gone 7-4-1 after starting 9-11-0.
The Avalanche has an excellent opportunity to pick up another win, having gone 11-1-0 on the road against the Panthers (14-13-4) all-time.
Florida has never defeated Colorado in the BankAtlantic Center, and its only home win over the Avalanche franchise was a 4-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques on April 22, 1995, at Miami Arena. The Nordiques became the Avalanche the next season.
Colorado has won four straight overall versus Florida since a 4-1 home loss on Jan. 2, 2003.
Paul Stastny, who scored Colorado's goal in regulation Thursday, has a goal and two assists in two games against the Panthers. The third-year center tops the Avalanche with 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists).
Winger Marek Svatos scored a goal in the Avalanche's only meeting with the Panthers last season, a 4-3 Colorado win in a shootout on Jan. 13. Svatos, though, has missed four straight games with a back injury and his status for Sunday's contest is uncertain.
But Colorado has gotten a little healthier at that position with Darcy Tucker returning to the lineup against Tampa Bay after missing 11 games due to a knee injury. Ben Guite also played after sitting out 17 games because of injured ribs.
Florida's Cory Stillman scored Thursday night in his second game back after missing 13 with post-concussion symptoms, but the Panthers lost 2-1 in overtime to Carolina.
David Booth returned after sitting out seven games with a shoulder injury. He has a team-high 12 goals after setting a career high with 22 last season, including one against the Avalanche.
In net, meanwhile, Florida has gotten two straight strong performances from Tomas Vokoun, who gave up two goals in a shootout win at Calgary on Dec. 12 and made 35 saves against the Hurricanes.
Vokoun was back in the lineup against Carolina after Craig Anderson had started eight of the last nine games.
"If you're only going to give up one (goal in regulation) on the road, that's pretty good goaltending," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.
Anderson has faced Colorado once in his career, allowing five goals for Chicago in an 8-1 loss on March 22, 2003. Vokoun is 7-9-1 with one tie and a 3.18 goals-against average in 18 starts versus the Avalanche.
|Dec 21 '08||COL 0 at FLA 3||B. McLean|