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Game 36 Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche

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Welcome back, everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. The Avalanche are back in action tonight, hoping to turn things around after losing two games in a row. Unfortunately, the Avs will be facing the Detroit Red Wings - the team we all love to hate. The Wings are leading the Western Conference and, on paper, are better than the Avalanche in most of the key statistical categories. On the flip side, the Wings are struggling a bit lately, with a 5-6-1 record over their last 12  and recently lost leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk to injury.

For the Avalanche, Milan Hejduk and Cody McLeod are expected to return to the lineup tonight. Hejduk has missed the last 7 games and, hopefully, will help jump start an offense that has faltered lately.  McLeod, by the way, scored his first NHL goal 3 years ago today against....the Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, Greg Mauldin is thankfully okay after falling face-first into the boards on Thursday and Chris Stewart and Kyle Cumiskey both returned to the ice on Sunday to do some skating. There's no timetable for either to return, but this is good news indeed.

Peter Budaj has already been announced as tonight's starter. Craig Anderson has not been sharp lately and I think this is a great move. The Avalanche don't play again until Thursday, so this gives Anderson a week off to get himself back into his happy place. Here's hoping he got an ice girls calendar for Christmas...

 

It's Paul Stastny's 25th birthday is today. Let's celebrate with a win. Go Avs!

Red Wings vs Avalanche coverage

Winging It In Motown

 

 

Colorado Detroit
10th 42 Points  3rd 49
1st 3.43 GF/G  3rd 3.32
29th 3.23 GA/G  15th 2.79
4th 23.7 PP%  9th 20.9
27th 77.8 PK%  14th 81.6
18th 30.1 S/G 2nd 33.8
21st 31.1 SA/G 14th 29.4
21st 49.2 FO%  7th 51.8
18th 13.3 PIM/G  3rd 9.6
Duchene 34 pts Top Scorer Datsyuk 39 pts