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Avalanche vs. Penguins: Avs start road trip with better health

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The Avalanche look to gain ground in standings with team getting healthy.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After four days off, the Avs are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins for the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. It looks like Brad Stuart is back in the Avalanche line up to help out the defense after being out the past month with a hamstring injury. Colorado also hopes to get John Mitchell and Patrick Bordeleau back in this east coast trip.

On the other side, the Penguins have caught a case of the mumps. Specifically, Sidney Crosby. The face of the NHL has missed the past three games for the Pens but skated on Wednesday. No word yet on whether he will be able to lace them up against the Avs tonight.

Penguins spotlight: Patric Hornqvist

After spending last season in Nashville, Hornqvist was traded this summer along with Nick Spaling to Pittsburgh as part of the James Neal trade. Hornqvist has succeeded in his first season with the Penguins scoring 11 goals and tallying 15 assists so far this season. He has been cold of late with only an assist in his past five games.

Avalanche spotlight: Key games ahead

Colorado currently sits 11 points out of the wild card in the Western Conference standings. These next three games in four nights are key for the Avalanche if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs. If they pick up points in all three games of this east coast trip while gaining some health on the roster, they could have some momentum going into the holiday break but still, there is a lot of work to do.

Avalanche line up

Tanguay-Duchene-Iginla

Landeskog-MacKinnon-O'Reilly

Mcleod-Talbot-Brierre

Everberg-Cliche-Holden

Hejda-Johnson

Guenin-Barrie

Stuart-Redmond

Pickard

Berra

Game Time

7 p.m. ET Altitude, NHL Network