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Daily Cupcakes- November 30th, 2011

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A preview for the Avalanche / Devils game tonight.

The Colorado Avalanche hoped an eight-game homestand would help turn around their struggles.

After dropping three of the first five, things haven't gone as planned.

Colorado looks to get back on track Wednesday night when it hosts the New Jersey Devils, who have won three of their last four on the road.

The Avalanche's four home wins are tied for fewest in the league, and they've dropped eight of 12 overall. Colorado (10-13-1) fell 3-1 to Dallas on Monday, with Kevin Porter scoring the team's lone goal.

A story on Matt Duchene and Cody Hodgson.

It was the first time the childhood friends, both originally from Haliburton, played each other in several years since they were in minor hockey.

When the two centres shared the same faceoff circle they also shared a smile and left the talking to before and after the game, Hodgson said in a phone interview.

"It was cool to faceoff against him," he said. "I always liked watching Matt [play]. Seeing him do so well and knowing that if I got healthy and got playing again I could play as well. It's really cool to have both of us come from Haliburton and now both playing [in the NHL]."

A story on Erik Johnson and Team USA.

Erik Johnson has gone from being a No. 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft to being one of the top defensemen in the league.

The 23-year-old Colorado Avalanche star might not be where he’s at without his development in the USA Hockey program, though.

“I enjoyed my time with the Development Program in Ann Arbor [Michigan],” he said, referring to the National Team Development Program, where he played from 2004-06. “That was a really big step forward in my career for me.”

Vincent Damphousse will be heading to court this week.

The estranged wife of Vincent Damphousse will stand trial next year for allegedly assaulting and stealing from the former NHL star.

Allana Henderson is charged with one count of theft and one count of assault with a weapon against Damphousse last March. On Tuesday, her one-day trial was set for June 8.

Damphousse's own case returns to court Wednesday.

Someone doesn't like being suspended.

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty is going to take his medicine for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh's Kristopher Letang, but that doesn't mean he especially likes the taste of it The forward will watch the three games of the Habs' California road swing from the press box after NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan mandated a suspension for a hit late in Saturday's game, a 4-3 Pittsburgh win.