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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
9th
SDP 5
ANA 4
 
8th
ATL 3
LOS 1
 
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR