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About the Avalanche - 02-16-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Avalance.

When and where: 9 p.m., Pepsi Center.

TV: FSN Pittsburgh, Altitude Sports.

Record: 25-26-6, 56 points. The Avalanche is in 14th place in the Western Conference and fourth place in the Northwest Division.

Leading Scorer: Matt Duchene, 47 points (21 goals, 27 assists).

Last Game: 9-1 home loss to the Flames, Monday. Peter Budaj made 13 saves for the Avalanche

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-1 road loss, Dec. 3, 2009. Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist for the Penguins.

Avalanche Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Milan Hejduk (above). He has 15 points in 14 career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Avalanche: David Koci, left wing (Koci was a propsect with the Penguins but never actually played for the NHL club).

Ex-Avalanche on the Penguins: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Tony Granato, assistant coach; Andre Savard, scout.

Useless Avalanche Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Former Penguins forward Stephane Richer holds the career record for regular season goals against the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise with 40.

Best Avalanche Video We Could Find: In honor of his recent retirement, here's 11 minutes of former Avalanche star Peter Forsberg set to dramatic music:

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Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (26-14-2, 2.30 GAA, .920 SV%) for the Penguins. Avalanche coach has not announced yet if Craig Anderson (13-15-3, 3.28 GAA, .897 SV%) or Peter Budaj (12-11-3, 3.19 GAA, .894 SV%) will start.

Injuries: For the Penguins, forward Eric Tangradi (head) is out. Forwards Arron Asham (undisclosed), Mike Comrie (hip), Sidney Crosby (concussion), Dustin Jeffrey (leg), Chris Kunitz ("lower body"), Mark Letestu (knee), Evgeni Malkin (knee) and defenseman Alex Grant (wrist) are on injured reserve. For the Avalanche, forward Matt Duchene (hand) is day to day. Defensemen Adam Foote (leg) and Jonos Holos (head) are out. Forwards Tomas Fleischman (blood clots), T.J. Galiardi (forearm), Peter Mueller (head), defensemen Kyle Cumiskey (whiplash) and Kyle Quincey (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins' primary lines at practice yesterday were:

Brett Sterling - Jordan Staal - Ryan Craig
Mike Rupp - Maxime Talbot - Chris Conner
Pascal Dupuis - Craig Adams - Tyler Kennedy
Tim Wallace - Joe Vitale - Nick Johnson

-All seven defensemen practiced, their primary pairings Sunday against the Rangers were:

Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Alex Goligoski - Deryk Engelland

-The Avalanche's primary lines and defensive pairings against the Flames Monday were:

David Jones - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
Kevin Porter - Paul Stastny - Chris Stewart
Daniel Winnik - Ryan O'Reilly - Brandon Yip
Cody McLeod - Philippe Dupuis - David Koci

Ryan O'Byrne - John-Michael Liles
Kevin Shattenkirk - Ryan Wilson
Matt Hunwick - Cameron Gaunce

Notes:

-Matt Cooke and Eric Godard are each serving suspensions.

-Kennedy has 49 career goals.

-Michalek has 98 career assists.

-The Avalanche recalled forward Mark Olver from Lake Erie of the AHL.

-The Avalanche has an eight-game losing streak, the longest since the franchise moved to Denver.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 9 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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