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Game 21 Preview: Hurricanes at Avalanche

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night the Colorado Avalanche will be hunting for their seventh win of the season... their opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes, is also looking for win number seven.

Both teams have been struggling mightily thus far in the season. Last season each team won once against each other, with the team on home ice coming out victorious.

The Hurricanes are currently on a five game road trip, and this game lands right in the middle of that trip. So far they've won one and lost one.

Game Notes

Alex Tanguay turned 35 yesterday. On the eve of his birthday he took a redirected shot by Alex Ovenchkin to the jaw. He will not be playing tonight as he suffered a facial fracture. With this loss, the Avalanche lose their leading-scorer. Can you believe I just typed that? The Avalanche leading scorer, twenty games into the season, is Alex Tanguay.

Dennis Everberg will not be playing either as he is out with a separated shoulder. This brings up the Avs injured list to eight.

The Avalanche brought up Vincour, Street and Agozzino to fill in the gaps. Stevehouse fills you in on those details.

The Avalanche have confirmed that Roy has said he will be giving the nod to Berra tomorrow.

Records

Carolina: 6-10-3

Colorado: 6-9-5

Opposition Info & 3 Questions

I contacted Bob from Cane's Country, on or sister site and asked him a few questions.  He graciously answered.

1. The Avs have had lots of trouble scoring goals in the early season. Carolina has struggled in the GF category as well. We like to blame our top players for not playing well. Who or what's the culprit in Carolina?

To start out with, the top paid players were also to blame here, although many were injured. Eric Staal, Jordan Staal (broken leg), and Jeff Skinner were all out at the start of the season. (Of course Jordan will be out for awhile longer). The team went eight games without a win and things looked dire until a six game point streak brightened the outlook. But now the team has a 1-4 record in their last five games and before the six goal explosion Tuesday night in Dallas, goals were very tough to come by.

Alex Semin has yet to score a goal this season and has been healthy scratched for three games as the coaching staff is trying to get their message through to him. He's not the only one to have trouble early this season, but he has not been any help either.

2. Both clubs have managed only six wins in the burgeoning season. Who gets W number 7 and why?

I will play Negative Nancy here and say the Avs will. The Canes have one of the worst road records in the league at 2-7-2 and while they are playing better, I'm not sure they are up to beating a hungry Colorado team on their home ice. The Hurricanes defense has been hard-pressed off and on this season and might be just what the doctor ordered for a club looking to score more goals.

3. Who is the player the Avs have to watch out the most for?

Both Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal are hot right now and both players have a history of being streaky and dangerous when hot. Staal has three goals in the last two games and Skinner has two in the last two, so look for one or both of them to score another Saturday night.


Game Info

(9 pm ET, 7 pm MT, FS-CR, Altitude]