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Preview: Avs visit Hockeytown

Tuesday, 01.8.2008 / 10:38 AM ET / Preview
Associated Press
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Preview: Avs visit Hockeytown

DETROIT -- Their losing streak is over, but the Colorado Avalanche are still trying to break out of an offensive slump.

The Avalanche look to generate more scoring when they face the Red Wings, the NHL's best defensive team, at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

Colorado (22-16-3) ended a four-game skid Saturday, beating the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime. The Avs, though, failed to score more than twice for the fourth time in five games and fell to 0-for-16 on the power play over their last five contests.

"It's a tough stretch without scoring," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Finishing has been the tough part."

Breaking out of that funk against the league-leading Red Wings (32-8-3) won't be easy. Detroit's 2.02 goals allowed per game is the lowest mark in the NHL, and the Wings rank among the league leaders in penalty killing with an 86.4 percentage.

The Red Wings have killed off 25 straight power-play chances over seven games.

The Avalanche's offensive woes are due in part to the absence of captain Joe Sakic, who had hernia surgery and hasn't played since Nov. 30, and forward Ryan Smyth, who hasn't played since Monday because of a fractured right ankle.

In addition, Paul Stastny, who leads the team with 44 points, has just three assists in his last eight games. Linemate Milan Hejduk hasn't recorded a point in six games and Andrew Brunette has gone five games without a goal.

Still, the Avalanche enter this game with some momentum following Saturday's win, which helped them avoid their first five-game losing streak in nearly 10 years. Marek Svatos, who leads the team with 16 goals, scored the winner and has six goals in his last seven games.

"Every game, I play a lot and I am getting lots of opportunities," Svatos said. "So, my confidence is going up."

Colorado's 47 points halfway through the season are its most since it had 53 in 2003-04.

The Avalanche ended a four-game losing streak in Detroit in their last game there, a 4-3 overtime victory March 4. Colorado, however, is 3-9-2 in it last 14 games overall against the Red Wings.

Detroit has won three straight and seven of eight, including Sunday's 3-1 win in Chicago. Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson scored in the first period for the Red Wings, who have recorded at least three goals in all but two of their 32 wins.

"I thought we played a good game," coach Mike Babcock said. "We drove the net real hard in the first period and had some chances."

Zetterberg, who played his third game after missing five due to a back injury, has a point in each of his last eight games (five goals, eight assists).

"We played well in our own zone and picked off a lot of their passes in the slot. That might have been the key to the game," said Detroit's Chris Osgood, who made 19 saves and leads the league with a 1.68 goals-against average.

Along with the best overall record, Detroit owns the best home mark in the NHL at 17-3-1.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80