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Game 71 Preview: Bruins at Avalanche

If the ticket prices are any indication, this is going to be a good game.

Sorry for the delay on this folks. With the nightmare that has been my car accident situation, I totally blew it with this one. Thus, I'm going to take the official NHL preview and use that.

BRUINS (47-17-5) at AVALANCHE (44-20-6)

TV: Altitude, NESN, RDS

Last 10: Boston 10-0-0; Colorado 6-3-1

Season series: This is the second of two games between Boston and Colorado. Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves in the first meeting to earn his 37th NHL shutout with a 2-0 victory against the Bruins on Oct. 10.

Big story: Winners of 10 straight games and sitting atop the Eastern Conference, the Bruins (99 points) will tie the St. Louis Blues for the most points in the League and extend their longest point streak since November 2011 (14-0-1) with a win against the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Boston has outscored opponents 41-15 during the streak, during which 16 Bruins have scored goals.

Colorado is hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak for the first time in 2014.


Bruins: In addition to the Avalanche's speed and skill, Boston is ready for a defensive challenge when it looks to improve on its 15-4-4 record against the Western Conference.

"They were a young, fast group," forward Daniel Paille said, recalling the first game between the teams. "They have a lot of offensive power, but they played very well defensively. We got shut out, so we definitely found it tough to score against them. So I think they're definitely a good, young team."

Despite their winning streak, the Bruins are taking nothing for granted. In fact, they're embracing the next challenge.

"You come to Colorado and the air's a little bit thinner," coach Claude Julien said. "They're on their home ice and they're coming off a couple of losses here where they want to get back to their winning ways. To me, it's the kind of challenge that we need right now to keep us going in the right direction."

Avalanche: Colorado fell into third place in the Central Division after a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. After scoring 20 seconds into the game, the Avalanche fell behind 12 minutes later and never regained the lead.

"We were not trying to find excuses. We haven't done that all year," coach Patrick Roy said. "We just wanted to make sure we had a good start, and we did. We scored on our first shift. I thought our guys had good legs. … We need to be ready for the Bruins on Friday night."

Who's hot: Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has scored in four consecutive games while earning at least one point in six straight. Center David Krejci has five assists in his past five games. … Avalanche center Matt Duchene has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past five games and has three goals and 11 assists this month. Forward Ryan O'Reilly has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five.

Injury report: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk (bruised right ankle) returned to the ice Thursday, but Julien said he won't be back in the lineup until he's 100 percent. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (strained quadriceps) remains on injured reserve, but is "headed in the right direction," according to Julien. … Avalanche center John Mitchell (bruised back) is day-to-day. Center Paul Stastny (back) missed the game Wednesday, the second of a back-to-back, and should return Friday. Forwards PA Parenteau (torn right MCL) and Alex Tanguay (hip surgery) are on IR.