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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 13th (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (52-22-7) at Anaheim Ducks (53-20-8), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Avalanche may have already clinched the Central Division before evening stepping onto the ice on Sunday night.

If not, they will try to take care of business against the Western Conference champion Anaheim Ducks as the Avs eye their first division title since 2003.

The Avalanche are tied atop the division standings with the struggling St. Louis Blues, who have lost five straight. Both clubs have 111 points, but Colorado owns the tiebreaker with four more non-shootout wins and only needs to match St. Louis in points to win the Central crown.

St. Louis also is in action on Sunday as it hosts the Detroit Red Wings in the afternoon. That means that Colorado will know exactly how many points, if any, it needs going into this matchup with the Ducks.

The Avalanche could have locked up the division title and a first-round playoff meeting with the Minnesota Wild on Friday, when the Blues lost to the Dallas Stars. However, Colorado failed to do its part as it lost 5-1 to the San Jose Sharks.

Despite knowing what was at stake, Colorado head coach Patrick Roy still decided to start goaltender Reto Berra and the third-stringer was quickly removed after allowing two goals on five shots in a little over 10 minutes. Backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves in relief.

Semyon Varlamov was given the night off a day after earning his NHL-best 41st win to break Roy's single-season franchise record. He is expected to start tonight.

Patrick Bordeleau had the lone goal for the Avs, who had been 8-0-1 in their previous nine games.

"We kind of control our own fate here," said Avs defenseman Erik Johnson. "As tough as it was to give this one up, we still control our own fate. That's a good position to be in."

Though forward P.A. Parenteau returned from a 15-game absence caused by a knee injury, defenseman Tyson Barrie missed the final two periods on Friday with an upper-body injury. He has 13 goals and 38 points in 64 games this season.

John Mitchell also did not play because of headaches, while star forward Matt Duchene remains out with a bruised knee.

The Ducks close out their regular season after picking up a 4-3 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. That extended Anaheim's point total to a club-record 114 points, giving the Ducks the top seed in the Western Conference thanks to the victory.

"They all knew that they just needed a point," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We never talked about it, but you could tell after the game was over that they all knew because they all turned and some of them were high- fiving each other. It's a pretty good accomplishment for them. Then we said well let's go win it in the shootout."

A regulation loss by the Ducks would have set up a winner-take-all showdown for the West's top seed Sunday in Anaheim against the Colorado Avalanche.

Devante Smith-Pelly scored the only shootout goal and also lit the lamp in regulation along with Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey. Frederik Andersen had 27 saves.

The Ducks, who won their third straight game, will face Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.

Veteran forwards Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne were healthy scratches on Saturday, but are expected to play in tonight's finale. This will mark Selanne's final regular season game as he plans to retire at season's end.

The Ducks and Avalanche have split a pair of meetings this season, both in Colorado, and Anaheim has won five of the previous seven encounters on home ice.

04/13 10:55:47 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
1st
DUKE 27
TEMPL 17
 
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
Final
PHI 96
PHO 122
 
Final
ATL 99
DET 89
 
Final
TOR 124
MIL 83
 
4th
MEM 117
BOS 100
 
4th
OKC 85
BRK 90
 
4th
WAS 86
CLE 75
 
Final
MIN 92
SAN 121
 
3rd
DAL 100
LAL 79
 
Half
DEN 59
NOP 49
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
3rd
RICE 17
UTEP 3
 
2nd
SDST 10
AFA 0
 
1st
UTST 7
SJST 0
 
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
WVU 70
BC 66
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
Final
YALE 70
ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
Final
HAMP 82
ALCOR 69
 
Final
ODU 70
LSU 61
Final
KENT 89
BU 65
 
Final
SCAR 63
CHAR 65
 
Final
UVA 59
GWU 42
Final
WCU 72
HIWASSEE 53
 
Final
GT 78
MAST 69
 
Final
RIDE 78
LEH 74
 
Final
MSU 87
LOYC 52
 
Final
CMICH 76
MAINE 48
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
Final
BAY 60
PVU 45
 
Final
HOF 66
USB 65
 
Final
OREG 78
TOL 68
 
Final
UGA 82
TROY 60
 
Final
STAN 89
UNLV 60
 
Final
FAIR 36
WOFF 54
 
Final
EMICH 71
YOUNG 62
 
Final
MON 73
COOK 50
 
Final
FIU 74
FLMEM 48
 
Final
KSU 74
SILL 51
 
Final
CAL 55
TEX 71
 
Final
GMAS 58
NMU 69
 
Final
ILL 107
PEAY 66
 
Final
ARK 99
DELST 71
 
Final
MCNST 85
JCHR 70
 
Final
NDST 68
KNST 55
 
Final
OKST 82
UWMIL 68
 
Final
LATU 73
MORE 64
 
Final
SDKST 74
NDAK 72
 
Final
XAV 81
STEPH 63
 
1st OT
UF 56
LAMON 54
 
2nd
WAKE 58
IONA 68
 
2nd
GRCN 41
FAM 22
 
2nd
COLST 50
UGST 47
 
2nd
WASU 37
IDST 35
 
Half
WEBER 28
ILLST 44
 
2nd
AUB 47
LALAF 38
 
Half
LOU 41
MARS 27
 
Half
ORST 18
ORU 20
 
Half
SD 33
SHSU 30
 
2nd
UTAH 51
UCR 21
 
1st
DUKE 27
TEMPL 17
 
1st
CORN 31
PSU 21
 
1st
CPSL 3
DEL 3
 
1st
SEAT 5
WASH 5
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
10:35pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
Final
CLB 3
BOS 4
 
Final
PIT 4
NYI 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
1st Intermission
EDM 0
NJD 0