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Game 74 Preview: Flyers @ Avalanche

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The Avalanche (38-31-4) return to play Thursday night to take on the Philadelphia Flyers (34-25-13) and the Minnesota Wild in the standings.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After seventy games of good health, the Avalanche have been hit with the injury bug at the worse time possible. With the NHL regular season down to less than ten games, the Avalanche have loss their top two centermen and top two scorers in Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene. While the time table for returns for the two players is still less than sure, one thing remains the same: the Avalanche are in the playoff hunt and need wins. With the Wild winning in a shootout on Tuesday night, the Avs have fallen back out of the top-eight in the West. There is solace, however, in the fact that the Avalanche still have a meeting on Saturday with the Wild in Denver and a game in hand over the current holder of the second wildcard slot. If the Avs can weather the storm, there is still a good chance of the team making the playoffs.

Like the Avalanche, the Philadelphia Flyers are also in the playoff race. despite a devastating shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the Flyers still hold on to the final wildcard slot in the East with ten games remaining (one more than the Red Wings). With the team pulling things together at just the right time, the Flyers will look to put Tuesday's major loss behind them and put an end to the Red Wings' 24-year playoff streak.

LINES

Boedker-Grigorenko-Comeau

Matthias-Soderberg-Landeskog

Martinsen-Mitchell-Iginla

McLeod-Skille-Rantanen

Beauchemin-Johnson

Holden-Barrie

Bodnarchuk-Bigras

Varlamov

Pickard

NOTES

Mikko Rantanen registered less than eight minutes of ice time in his first NHL game in nearly six months.

Mikkel Boedker has at least a point in six of his nine games as an Avalanche.

Gabriel Landeskog is just two goals from reaching 20 goals for the fourth time in his five year career and also from scoring his 100th goal in the NHL.

GAME INFO

Game time: 7pm MT

TV: ALT