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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, November 19th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (14-3-4) at Colorado Avalanche (14-5-0), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Trying to break out of slump against the defending Stanley Cup champions is one thing, but it becomes much more difficult when trying to do so without your leading scorer.

The Colorado Avalanche, minus forward Matt Duchene, try to snap a season-high, three-game slide on Tuesday night as they play host to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Avalanche hadn't lost back-to-back games this season before their current losing streak and they have also dropped four of six since their 12-1-0 start. It marks a big test for rookie head coach Patrick Roy as the club tries to prove its fast start wasn't a fluke.

That may be tough to do tonight given that Duchene is out with an oblique strain suffered in Saturday's 4-1 setback to the Florida Panthers. The Avs are hoping the ailment only sidelines the 22-year-old for a week as he leads the team with 12 goals and 20 points.

Ryan O'Reilly had a goal in Saturday's loss, while Semyon Varlamov allowed all four Florida scores on 33 shots faced.

Colorado fell to 8-3-0 at home on the season.

"Effort is not a problem with this team. It was focus and we made poor decisions," said Roy.

The Blackhawks made a lot of poor decisions themselves in a 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Nashville Predators on Saturday night, but bounced back one day later with a solid 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Patrick Sharp led the way with two goals -- one on a penalty shot -- and Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots as Chicago moved to 8-1-1 in its past 10 games.

"It was a good response after a tough game (Saturday) in Nashville. I thought we came out right from the start of the game with better speed and winning more 1-on-1 battles than last night and it resulted in a better outcome," said Sharp.

Captain Jonathan Toews scored the first of three Blackhawks goals in the third period that broke the game open and Patrick Kane had an assist on Brandon Pirri's first-period tally, extending his point streak to seven straight (4 goals, 6 assists).

Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist in his return to Chicago. Versteeg was a member of Chicago's Cup-winning 2010 club before getting dealt that summer. He was reacquired from Florida on Thursday.

"It was emotional coming back, for myself," said Versteeg. "(Saturday) night definitely wasn't the way I saw coming back in my head, but tonight was very exciting. The guys put in a big effort, and obviously we've got to keep that going into a big road trip."

Versteeg was referencing a seven-game swing that begins with this contest. Chicago hopes to have forward Marian Hossa available on the trip as he has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury.

The Blackhawks don't play at home again until Dec. 3.

The 'Hawks won two of three versus the Avalanche last season and this is the first of five meetings between this new division rivals in 2013-14. Colorado joined Chicago in the new-look Central Division under realignment.

The Avs have won six of their last nine at home versus the Blackhawks and Varlamov is 3-3-0 with a 2.64 goals against average in six career meetings with Chicago.

Crawford has gone 2.4-1 with a 3.14 GAA in seven games versus Colorado, including six starts.

11/19 10:32:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 31
ARST 36
Final
UNC 89
UAB 58
Final
TAM 2
CAR 1
Final
CHA 94
ORL 102
Final
LAC 98
TOR 110
Final
WAS 101
BOS 88
Final
CHA 94
ORL 102
4th
MIA 95
MEM 99
 
4th
BRK 75
IND 93
 
4th
CHI 95
NOP 84
 
3rd
MIL 52
ATL 57
 
2nd
UTA 40
PHI 32
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
NYK
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIN
Final
VT 33
CIN 17
Final
DUKE 31
ARST 36
Final
SCAR 24
MIAMI 21
Final
PSU 31
BC 30
Half
USC 24
NEB 17
 
Final
GEOR 91
IND 87
Final
SHU 72
MAINE 43
 
Final
UWGB 78
UGST 61
 
Final
MINN 108
UNCW 82
Final
JVU 75
JVST 61
 
Final
LOU 50
KENT 58
Final
NW 76
NKENTUCKY 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
IUPUI 55
 
Final
GAELS 73
SCU 60
 
Final
UNC 89
UAB 58
Final
MD 72
OU 56
Final
BYU 80
GONZ 87
Final
UGA 86
MERC 77
Final
PAC 71
USF 77
 
Final
VT 87
PBY 65
 
Final
OSU 100
WRST 55
Final
WKENT 89
BRESCIA 42
 
2nd
TENN 55
TENST 43
 
Half
NMST 20
COLST 22
 
Half
ILL 54
KNST 18
 
2nd
SDU 29
PORT 34
 
2nd
WEBER 56
BRISTOL 35
 
2nd
WLVRN 36
SACST 39
 
2nd
UTST 39
WBAP 36
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
SDCHR
 
1st
UNLV 0
SUTAH 0
 
Final
CLB 6
BOS 2
Final
TAM 2
CAR 1
Final
OTT 2
DET 3
Final
NYR 3
NJD 1
Final
BUF 4
NYI 3
Final
MIN 3
WIN 4
 
2nd Intermission
PIT 0
WAS 3
 
3rd
ARI 1
ANA 1
 
3rd
STL 2
DAL 4
 
3rd
NAS 3
PHI 1
 
2nd
COL 2
CHI 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
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EDM
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