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Skidding Avs welcome Blue Jackets

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche aim to avoid a season-high fifth straight defeat on Tuesday night as they continue their lengthy homestand in a matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Avs logged just an 0-1-2 record on a three-game swing through Los Angeles, San Jose and Chicago -- where they faced three of the top teams in the Western Conference -- and then began a seven-game homestand on Sunday with a 2-1 overtime setback to the Winnipeg Jets.

Blake Wheeler scored the overtime winner for the Jets with 1.7 seconds on the clock, redirecting the puck between the pads of Semyon Varlamov.

Varlamov made 35 saves and didn't allow his first goal until 11:42 into the third period. Colorado rookie Nathan MacKinnon answered for his club just 29 seconds later to tie the game.

"We have to be able to hang on there (at the end)," said MacKinnon. "We have to generate more shots and be a little more simple-minded, especially in physical games like that."

MacKinnon, the top overall pick of the 2013 draft, scored his ninth goal of the season and logged his 22nd point. He could see an increased role after forward P.A. Parenteau suffered a knee injury in Sunday's loss that is expected to keep him out for six weeks.

The 30-year-old Parenteau has nine goals and 15 assists in 38 games this season.

The Blue Jackets will try to rebound tonight after having a season high-tying three-game win streak snapped with Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who got three goals and two assists from forward James Neal.

Brandon Dubinsky, Corey Tropp and Nikita Nikitin lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, and Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves, but Pittsburgh went 3-for-6 on the power play.

"They scored on 50 percent of their power play and that just can't happen," said Dubinsky.

Columbus will open a four-game road trip tonight and could get a pair of key players back on the swing.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been out since suffering a groin injury on Dec. 3 and practiced on Monday. The 25-year-old reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 10-11-2 with a 2.72 goals against average and .909 save percentage in 23 starts this season.

Also, forward Nathan Horton continues to practice and is closing in on his season debut with Columbus. He signed a seven-year, $37.1 million deal with the Blue Jackets this offseason, but has yet to play due to shoulder surgery he underwent not long after signing with Columbus.

Though Bobrovsky could be back soon, McElhinney is likely to start tonight and is 2-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA in three career starts versus the Avalanche.

Columbus has won four of its last five versus the Avalanche and has claimed three of its past four in Colorado.

Varlamov will start for the Avs and is 3-2-1 with a 1.66 GAA and two shutouts lifetime versus the Jackets.

12/31 11:19:24 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh3Final(OT) | Box
Columbus «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Anaheim2Final | Box
Dallas «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
St. Louis3Final(OT) | Box
Chicago «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR