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Game 51 Preview: Avalanche @ Sharks

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After two big Central division wins, the Avs (26-21-3) look to strengthen their playoff position by winning their fifth straight against the San Jose Sharks (25-18-4) .

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche put together another strong outing against the falling Stars on Saturday night to win their fourth straight game and temporarily hop over the Wild in the standings. Semyon Varlamov stopped another 42 shots to go along with the 33 he had the night before. With four wins last week and only four goals allowed during those games, Varlamov was an easy pick for the NHL's first star of the week this past week. The reemerging goaltender will get a chance to rest Tuesday night, however, as Calvin Pickard will get the start against the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks come into Tuesday night's matchup following a heartbreaking overtime loss against the Avs' next opponent, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings tied the game late in order to send the game to overtime, where they won the game and kept the Sharks at a comfortable distance in the Pacific division's second seed. Despite the loss, the Sharks picked up a point and extended their streak of consecutive games with at least a point to nine games. The Sharks will look to make it ten games against an Avalanche team whose tide is rising.

LINES

Tanguay-MacKinnon-Duchene

Landeskog-Soderberg-Comeau

Martinsen-Grigorenko-Iginla

McLeod-Mitchell-Skille

Beauchemin-Johnson

Holden-Barrie

Bigras-Redmond

Pickard

Varlamov

Scratches: Wagner, Bodnarchuk

NOTES

Joe Pavelski leads the league with eight game winning goals.

Brett Burns leads all defensemen with 18 goals on the season.

- Since the Avs were blanked at home 4-0 by the Lightning on January 12th, the Avs' opponents have averaged only one goal per game in six games.

GAME INFO

Game Time: 8pm MT

TV: NBCSN, SN1, SNO, SNE, SNW