Game 80 Preview: Avalanche @ Flames

80 - at Flames

The boys are pretty much playing for pride now as the 2011-2012 Avalanche season has little chance of going beyond April 7th. Tonight they face the Calgary Flames once again, another team whose playoff hopes are all but mathematically dead. It's no secret the Avs have had a hard time against Calgary this season, winning only one of the five meetings so far this season.

Despite what seems impossible, the players remain hopeful that if they can pull out the win—and get help from the other teams with games in hand—the playoffs are still a possibility. Of course, they've been saying that for the past four games, all losses. It would be great to see them turn that around and win the final three games, even if that means last minute heartache as other teams control the Avs' fate. We shall see, though.

Semyon Varlamov is expected to start, and there hasn't been any indication that the roster will differ from the one we saw against the Canucks on Wednesday. I wouldn't be surprised, however, to see different lines as moving Mark Olver to play with Ryan O`Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog seemed to spark some life back into that line. Another likely change is the scratch that didn't happen last game: Ryan Wilson. Since the team needs offense, subbing in offensive-defenseman Tyson Barrie might be the direction Coach Sacco goes.

Tale of the tape:

Stats
79 GP 78
40 W 35
33 L 28
6 OT 15
86 P 85
0.544 P% 0.545
2.43 G/G 2.41
2.61 GA/G 2.64
18.3 PP% 17.8
83.3 PK% 83.9
31.4 S/G 27.4
29.5 SA/G 30.9
51.7 FO% 45.9
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