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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (17-18-4) at Colorado Avalanche (23-11-4), 8 p.m.

(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 10:57:28 ET

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  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
3rd
LAL 71
CHI 60
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
 
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
2nd OT
USC 76
COL 75
 
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
2nd
CSNO 68
HAW 81
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
2nd
SDU 55
SCU 45
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
2nd
UCLA 65
UTAH 57
 
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
2nd
CSFU 57
LBSU 49
 
2nd
GAELS 55
LMU 46
 
Half
WASU 37
CAL 39
 
Half
BYU 34
USF 30
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
 
2nd Intermission
SJS 6
ANA 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI