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2/1 Minnesota @ Colorado

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"It's the most important game of the year." That's how Avs coach Joel Quenneville, and it is not just coaches hyperbole. Colorado sits 4 points behind Minnesota in the Western Conference playoff race, and is desperate to start gaining ground. The next 2 weeks will probably determine wither Avs GM Francois Giguere is a buyer or a seller at the deadline.

Colorado has played well against the Wild this year, going 3-0-1 overall. However, all but one game have been close - 2 were decided by shootout, 1 was decided in OT.

Peter Budaj gets the start.

Current Western Conference standings:

7. Calgary 60*
8. Minnesota 58
9. Colorado 54
10. Edmonton 54 *idle