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Game 51 Preview: Penguins @ Avalanche

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After shutting out the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night, the Avalanche (15-33-2) look to win three straight for the first time this season against the Pittsburgh Penguins (33-13-6).

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it's a case of too little too late, but the Avalanche are playing their best hockey of the season right now. Mikko Rantanen especially is playing well as he logged his first career hat trick Tuesday. Mark Barberio is also making his mark. The defenseman notched two assists against his former team and the Avs improved to 2-0 since his addition. While the Avs wait for Tyson Barrie to heal, Barberio has provided a decent offensive upside to compliment a balanced defensive approach.

With Calvin Pickard showing some stronger play, Spencer Martin was sent back down to get more playing time. Jeremy Smith will take the slot on the end of the bench as the Avs welcome the defending Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh PenguinsSidney Crosby is two points shy of 1,000 points. Will he get it in Denver, or will the Avs put together another strong outing behind Calvin Pickard?

LINES

Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen

Grigorenko-Duchene-Nieto

Comeau-Mitchell-Iginla

Colborne-Soderberg-Martinsen

Beauchemin-Zadorov

Barberio-Goloubef

Tyutin-Wiercioch

Pickard

Smith

NOTES

- Mikko Rantanen is the second youngest player to record a hat trick for the Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon was the youngest.

- The Avs have scored more goals in the past two games than in the previous six.

- With the Avs on a roll, here is the Avs' next entry for a new goal song.

GAME INFO

Game time: 7pm MT

TV: ALT