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GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (37-21-12) at Colorado Avalanche (39-25-8).
TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST.
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks try to match their longest winning streak in seven years when they visit the Colorado Avalanche in a game with plenty of implications for Western Conference playoff seeding.
Anaheim, Colorado and the Calgary Flames all have 86 points. While the Avalanche and Flames are tied atop the Northwest Division and could earn the third seed with a first-place finish, the Mighty Ducks have only a slim chance of winning the Pacific Division crown as they trail Dallas by 13 points.
Anaheim is also six points behind Nashville for the West's fourth playoff seed.
The Mighty Ducks still like their postseason chances, though, after Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes extended their season-high winning stretch to six games. The Mighty Ducks last won seven straight from Feb. 20-March 7, 1999.
The Ducks are 10-2-1 since the Olympic break.
"It's the perfect time to be hot," said Teemu Selanne, who tallied two goals and an assist in Saturday's win. "Everybody knows it's tough to face a hot team in the playoffs, and right now we're hot."
The Ducks have been especially hot on the power play, going 9-for-15 with the man advantage in their last three games.
"We've been playing very well, but we expected ourselves to play very well all year," said Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 32 saves Saturday. "We should have been doing this all year."
Giguere has struggled against the Avalanche, with a career record of 4-8-2-0 against them. He was pulled in his only start against them this season, after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the first 11 minutes of the game.
The Ducks won that March 22nd meeting 5-4 in overtime but have lost three straight in Denver.
Jim Dowd scored a third-period equalizer for the Avalanche on Sunday, but they couldn't solve Edmonton goaltender Dwayne Roloson in the shootout, losing 4-3 to the Oilers. But Colorado earned a point for the fourth straight game, and moved into a tie with Calgary for the division lead.
"It's tough when you don't need a lot of goals to win and don't," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "But we did get three out of four points this weekend, and we're tied for first place."
Andrew Brunette and Milan Hejduk each added a goal and an assist, while Joe Sakic had an assist to extend his points streak to seven games. He has six goals and six assists over that span.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 86 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division. Avalanche - 86 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 33 goals and 74 points; Scott Niedermayer, 44 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 158 PIM. Avalanche - Sakic 28 goals; Alex Tanguay, 48 assists and 74 points; Ian Laperriere, 107 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 18.0 percent (74 for 412), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (373 for 442), 6th. Avalanche - Power play: 19.4 percent (82 for 423), 7th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (329 for 393), 9th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (24-10-11, 2 SO, 2.58 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (13-11-1, 1, 2.53). Avalanche - Peter Budaj (11-8-6, 2, 2.71); Vitaly Kolesnik (3-3-0, 0, 3.29).
SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: March 22; Mighty Ducks, 5-4 (OT). At Anaheim, Calif., Jonathan Hedstrom scored on a penalty shot with 1:38 left in overtime and Scott Niedermayer scored twice on the power play as the Mighty Ducks rallied from a three-goal deficit.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 15-12-7 on the road; Avalanche - 21-8-6 at home.
|Mar 28 '06||ANA 3 at COL 4||A. Brunette|
|Mar 22 '06||COL 4 at ANA 5 - OT||J. Hedstrom|
|Nov 18 '05||COL 3 at ANA 2||M. Svatos|
|Nov 03 '05||ANA 3 at COL 4||A. Laaksonen|
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