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Game 14 Preview: Avalanche at Sharks

Colorado Avalanche
8:30 MT / 10:30 ET
San Jose Sharks
October 30, 2009 8-4-1
22 pts
HP Pavilion
17 pts
1st in West
San Jose, CA
4th in West


The Avalanche continue their current road trip with a stop in sunny San Jose to face the Sharks for the second time this season.  Colorado won the first game (the first of the season for both teams) 5-2. 

San Jose has played well lately.  They went 4-2-0 during a six-game road trip through the Eastern Conference, and beat the similarly successful Kings in a shootout at home on Wednesday.  They don't seem to have quite the same all-around power they did last year, but they're still a formidable opponent.

The Avalanche, of course, are one of the worst teams in the NHL.  Even though they currently lead the league in points with 22, and have set a new franchise-best opening record at 10-1-2, the wheels are about to fall off at any moment. Craig Anderson, magical iron man puck stopper, will start in net tonight---his 14th-straight appearance between the pipes for the Avs this year.  Even though backup Peter Budaj has now fully recovered from the flu, coach Joe Sacco will save him for Sunday against the Canucks, who will be without captain Roberto Luongo.

There is still no confirmation, but John-Michael Liles could will return to the Avalanche lineup after recovering from an early-season shoulder injury.  That would be good news for the Avs' power play, which has gone 0-7 over the last three games.  Players not expected to play are Cody McLeod, Darcy Tucker, and young stud T.J. Galiardi, who suffered an ankle injury of unknown severity on Wednesday against Calgary.

UPDATE: Along with the return of Liles, Dater reports that Galiardi will be out 4-6 weeks, which is a really tough break for him and the team, since he'd been playing so well.  Also, T.J. Hensick will be in the lineup to replace him.

Evgeni Nabokov is expected to be in net for the Sharks.