Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • Golf
  • NCAA FB
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL

Colorado at Minnesota

Venue: Xcel Energy Center
  •  

The Colorado Avalanche have lost their scoring touch at an inopportune time.

A visit to struggling Minnesota on Sunday night might help the Avalanche get back on track, but Colorado has had trouble beating the Wild over much of the past two seasons.

Colorado outscored opponents 17-5 over four consecutive wins but has scored once during back-to-back defeats. Matt Hunwick helped the Avalanche end a 114:12 scoreless skid with his second goal of the season Saturday but his team was routed 5-1 by Pittsburgh.

"It's a do-or-die situation every game," said goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who tied a season high by allowing four goals. "We're approaching it like it's a must-win every night. For that, you must be physical, you must get in the other guy's face. Unfortunately it wasn't enough tonight."

That defeat kept 10th-place Colorado (33-29-4) three points behind Dallas and San Jose, which currently hold the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

"This is when you really see who wants to get in the playoffs, who wants to win," forward Gabriel Landeskog said. "We've got a great group of guys in here. We really have a lot of winners in here. We just have to go out and show that, enough talking, we've just got to go out and execute."

The Avalanche's next opponent hasn't done that much lately, having been outscored 14-4 during an 0-2-1 skid. The Wild suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season, 6-0 in Detroit on Friday.

"It was not much fun. That's for sure," coach Mike Yeo said. "The part that was disappointing for me is that we were so bad defensively. I know we can defend a lot better than that.

"We put ourselves in a tough spot and didn't respond after that. ... We have to make sure we regroup quickly for Sunday."

Josh Harding, who started in place of an injured Niklas Backstrom (strained groin), gave up all of those goals in 45:30 before being pulled. The injury-plagued team also lost forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Palmieri to upper-body ailments in that game.

The recall of defenseman Steve Kampfer and center Chad Rau from Houston on Saturday would appear to indicate that both players might not be ready for Sunday's game.

The fading Wild (28-27-10) enter this contest seven points out of a playoff spot. They're also 3-8-3 in their last 14 and 2-5-1 in their last eight home games.

Minnesota, though, has won six of the last seven matchups with Colorado and three of four this season. The Avalanche's lone victory was during their previous visit to Minnesota, a 4-2 win Dec. 26.

Jan Hejda had the tiebreaking goal and assisted on the final of three unanswered scores to help his team snap a three-game skid at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Avalanche, however, have also been shut out twice during this season's series but Backstrom was in net for both of those 1-0 wins. With their starter out for the next two to four weeks, Minnesota is expected to start either Harding or Matt Hackett.

Harding is 3-2-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average in seven career games against Colorado, while Hackett has never faced the Avalanche.

Colorado, meanwhile, might look to Semyon Varlamov, who is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA in his career against the Wild.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Colorado -115 Minnesota -105
Standings
Team Standings W L OT Pts L 10
Colorado2nd Central 00000-0-0
Minnesota4th Central 00000-0-0

CBSSports.com Shop

Los Angeles Kings Majestic 2014 Stanley Cup Champions Magic Moment Official Locker Room T-Shirt

Los Angeles Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear
Shop Now

Injuries
Colorado
PlayerInjury
P BordeleauBack
 
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
T VanekGeneral Soreness
 
 
 
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Nov 29Minnesota 
Mar 14 @ St. Louis 
Mar 21Minnesota 
Apr 11 @ St. Louis 
Other Games
Bos 3 Final
NYR 4
NJ 0 Final
NYI 1
Chi 2 Final
Det 1
Dal 3 Final
Cal 2
Ott 2 Final
Fla 4
Phi 1 Final
Wash 0