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Game 37: Red Wings At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

This game is the first meeting of the season between the Avalanche and the Red Wings, both leaders of their respective divisions (at least for now).  The Avalanche haven't lost a game in regulation since December 12th, and are currently riding a two-game winning streak.  The Wings have won 12 of their last 14, like that's even possible.

Of particular interest tonight is the list of injuries, which is finally shrinking for the Avs but growing for the Red Wings.  Henrik Zetterberg, among others, didn't play last night against St. Louis and won't be on the ice tonight due to back inflammation.  For the Avs, both Ryan Smyth and Brad Richardson will be back in action and Jordan Leopold might end up in the lineup as well.  Only Kurt Sauer and Joe Sakic remain on the injured reserve list.

I can't find word from either the Denver Post nor the Rocky Mountain News about who will be in goal for the Avalanche tonight, but I assume it will be Peter Budaj.  He's played six straight games and won all of them except for one well-played OT loss.  Then again, you never know what Coach Q will do.

The Red Wings are hands-down the best team in hockey.  The Avalanche are improving but will likely have their hands full against their former arch-rivals from Emptytown.  If Colorado loses, let's hope it's not by too many goals.

The game starts at 7:00 PM Mountain time, 9:00 PM Eastern.  Act excited!

ESPN preview.