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GAME: Colorado Avalanche (16-8-5-1) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (10-12-4-5).TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
Paul Kariya's wrist injury is going to prevent the main attraction from taking place Friday at the Arrowhead Pond.
While Teemu Selanne will return to Anaheim for the first time in a Colorado Avalanche uniform, Kariya will not play against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks when the teams meet for the second time this season.
Kariya spent his first nine NHL seasons with the Mighty Ducks, serving as team captain from 1996-2003. He holds virtually every offensive team record, including goals (300), assists (369), points (669) and games played (606).
It came as a shock to the Mighty Ducks and the rest of the NHL when Kariya decided to take less money from the Avalanche so he could play with good friend Teemu Selanne on the same team again. Kariya's one-year, $1.2 million contract keeps him under the league average and allows him to be a free agent again next year.
Selanne and Kariya had been friends since they first met as teammates with Anaheim in 1996, and played five seasons together before Selanne was traded to San Jose in 2001.
Friday was expected to be Kariya and Selanne's first game in Anaheim as Avalanche teammates, but Kariya hasn't played since spraining his right wrist against Dallas on Nov. 15. Colorado's next scheduled game at Anaheim is Jan. 30.
The Avalanche have been playing very well without Kariya, but had an eight-game unbeaten streak snapped Wednesday with a 3-2 loss to Minnesota.
Captain Joe Sakic scored twice for Colorado, 4-1-4 in its last nine, but winless in three (0-1-2).
"I think we were very flat and you can't play like that, no matter who you are playing," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. "No matter when it is in the season, you can't come out and get caught flat like that."
Sakic has six goals and 11 assists in his last 11 games and is among the NHL leaders with 34 points.
Anaheim lost for the fifth time in seven games Sunday, 3-2 to Edmonton.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, last season's playoff MVP, had his personal winless streak extended to seven (0-5-2). Giguere got the start after a three-game benching.
"It felt better than the last two I played," Giguere said. "There were a lot of positives in my game and I was seeing the puck a little bit better, but in the end, a loss is a loss."
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