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Preview: Avalanche at Sharks, Game 4

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Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Two hot teams face off today at the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose. The heroes, your Colorado Avalanche, have won 2 straight and come into San Jose having allowed 5 goals in 3 games - tied for fewest in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the villainous San Jose Sharks have been turning on more red lights than Roxanne, with 15 goals scored in their first 3 games. (Worst Analogy of All Time).

Joe Thornton already has 9 points, Patrick Marleau has 8 (with 6 goals) and Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each have 7 points. And their offense should get a little boost by the addition of Scott Gomez, who is expected to make his San Jose debut today. (Best Sneaky Sophomoric Insult of All Time). The Sharks 3rd ranked PP will go up against the Avs' 6th ranked PK. I love the Avalanche, but I wish I felt better about that particular set of stats.

Speaking of stats, this would be a great game for the Paul Stastny line to bust out (Worst Segue of All Time). Paul Stastny, David Jones and Jamie McGinn have combined for 2 points (although the one Jones goal was a beauty) and they are the only three negative jibble players on the team, combining for -8. It would be especially nice to see McGinn score against his former team - he was scoreless his first time facing San Jose and this very line was a combined -12.

All-time, the Avalanche are 6-2 against the Sharks in October...but they've lost the last two October meetings (Best Meaningless Stat of All Time). If the Avalanche do win, they may need extra time to do it. They haven't defeated the Sharks in regulation in nearly 3 years - 14 games (2nd Best Meaningless Stat of All Time).

Here are the Avs career splits against San Jose, courtesy of hockey-reference.com

GP G A PTS PPG +/- PIM EV PP
Stastny 20 5 11 16 0.80 - 10 12 3 2
Hejduk 51 17 23 40 0.78 + 9 18 10 6
Duchene 11 3 4 7 0.64 - 5 8 1 1
Parenteau 2 1 0 1 0.50 0 0 1 0
Landeskog 4 0 2 2 0.50 0 2 0 0
Downie 6 1 2 3 0.50 - 1 8 1 0
OReilly 12 1 4 5 0.42 + 2 0 0 1
Kobasew 19 3 0 3 0.16 - 6 15 1 2
McLeod 15 1 1 2 0.13 + 1 29 1 0
Jones 9 0 1 1 0.11 - 7 2 0 0
Bordeleau 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0
McGinn 1 0 0 0 0.00 - 4 0 0 0
Olver 2 0 0 0 0.00 0 2 0 0
Mitchell 2 0 0 0 0.00 - 2 0 0 0
Malone 2 0 0 0 0.00 - 1 0 0 0

GP G A PTS PPG +/- PIM EV PP
OBrien 20 1 5 6 0.30 - 2 45 1 0
Johnson 17 2 3 5 0.29 - 8 8 1 0
Wilson 7 0 2 2 0.29 - 3 0 0 0
Hejda 22 0 5 5 0.23 - 2 18 0 0
Zanon 23 1 3 4 0.17 - 6 8 1 0
OByrne 8 1 0 1 0.13 - 4 8 1 0
Barrie 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0
Hunwick 5 0 0 0 0.00 + 1 0 0 0

GP W L T/O GAA SV% SO GA SA SV PIM
Giguere 35 15 17 2 2.82 0.905 5 96 1010 914 2
Varlamov 4 2 2 0 3.23 0.895 0 12 114 102 0

Game Time: 2 pm MT, 9:00 pm UTC; LIVE ON NHLN-US, ALT RADIO