The Colorado Avalanche return to Pepsi Center and will face off against the Anaheim Ducks. Colorado has been in free fall for most of the 2011 calendar year, and have a winless March following a February where they posted a 1-11-1 record. Dismal times for a team that had playoff aspirations for the first half of the season. Of small consolation to Avalanche fans? Each loss bumps them higher up the draft board for June, though there doesn't appear to be a superstar in waiting like when Colorado drafted Matt Duchene in 2008. Still, the opportunity to draft high end talent is a rare event in franchise history, and this extended streak only aids that cause.
The Anaheim Ducks are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture with 77 points, tied for 10th place. A good week can bump them straight into hosting a first round playoff spot, as they are only four points behind division rival Phoenix Coyotes for fourth place in the conference. With only 15 games remaining in the regular season, the Ducks face an uphill battle. Their star goaltender Jonas Hiller has been suffering from vertigo for a couple of months, and has been bounced on and off the active roster due to his health concerns. Newly acquired goalie Dan Ellis, formerly from Tampa Bay, has performed well in Hiller's place posting a 4-1-1 record and 2.26 GAA in a Ducks uniform. Anaheim has won four of five games, and looks to continue that hot streak against Colorado.
Brian Elliott will start in net for Colorado. Dan Ellis gets the start in net for the Anaheim Ducks.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MST.