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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 29th (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (17-6-0) at Minnesota Wild (15-7-4), 6 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild will try to avoid a third straight setback as they begin a home-and-home series on Friday night with the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

The Wild are coming off just their second regulation setback at home this season as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday. Dany Heatley had Minnesota's lone goal off assists from Nino Niederreiter and Kyle Brodziak, while Niklas Backstrom made 23 saves.

The Wild have a six-game home winning streak halted, falling to 10-2-2 as the hosting club this season.

"It's tough no matter who you are playing, let alone a solid, defensive- structured team like Phoenix. You get yourself in a hole, 2-0, it's tough in this league to battle back," said Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard.

Minnesota skated without forward Zach Parise, who is out with a foot contusion, while center Mikael Granlund exited after his first shift with a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve Thursday.

The Wild will visit the Avalanche on Saturday and it is unknown if Backstrom or Josh Harding, who is recovering from a lower-body injury, will start tonight.

Backstrom is 25-5-3 with a 2.22 goals against average and four shutouts in 32 career starts versus the Avs, while Harding is 3-2-1 with a 2.04 GAA in eight games (6 starts).

The Avalanche will start Jean-Sebastian Giguere, with Semyon Varlamov scheduled to go on Saturday.

Giguere is 10-2-3 with a pair of ties and a 2.39 GAA in his career versus the Wild, logging three shutouts. He won each of his first five starts before giving up five goals on 24 shots versus St. Louis on Nov. 14, though Varlamov actually was credited with the loss in a brief relief appearance.

Varlamov made 31 saves in Wednesday's 4-1 setback to the Blues that snapped a three-game winning streak.

Patrick Bordeleau put Colorado on the board with 11:36 to go in the first period to make it a 2-1 game, and the Avalanche had a chance to tie the game on a late power play. However, Jaden Schwartz scored a short-handed goal for the Blues to make it 3-1 with 1:48 remaining in the opening frame.

"That third (goal) was a tough break and it deflated us," said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog. "After the first, we were just flat."

With forward Paul Stastny scratched due to back spasms, Matt Duchene made an early return from an oblique injury. He had sat out the previous three games and it was thought he would make his return to action tonight.

Stastny, meanwhile, is day-to-day.

The Avalanche have lost three straight and 10 of their past 14 versus the Wild.

11/29 10:55:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd Intermission
CAR 2
TOR 1
 
1st
DUKE 24
UCONN 21
 
2nd
CHI 35
NYK 24
 
1st
HOU 8
NOP 10
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
2nd
UVA 67
CLST 49
 
2nd
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
2nd
STET 67
GSOUT 72
 
2nd
QUIN 80
LEH 61
 
2nd
SFLA 57
SHU 80
 
2nd
RICH 62
SALA 52
 
2nd
CAN 43
USB 45
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
 
2nd
WCU 53
WRST 66
 
2nd
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
2nd
SDKST 42
IDST 39
 
2nd
RIDE 37
MRGST 28
 
2nd
LATU 52
NICST 36
 
1st
CHAR 27
APP 28
 
1st
MISS 26
CCAR 40
 
1st
DUKE 24
UCONN 21
 
1st
BRAD 44
EUREK 23
 
Half
PEAY 35
OAKC 16
 
1st
JST 26
SMISS 11
 
1st
SD 7
MNTST 9
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
2nd Intermission
PIT 0
COL 0
 
2nd Intermission
PHI 1
FLA 1
 
2nd Intermission
CAR 2
TOR 1
 
2nd Intermission
CLB 2
WAS 2
 
1st
MON 0
ANA 1
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
1st
JAC 0
TEN 7