Avalanche Vs. Devils: Streaking Colorado Welcomes Matt Duchene Back Against New Jersey

What will the Colorado Avalanche do next? After a dramatic overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, the Avalanche topped themselves with a stunning shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres, topped by Jamie McGinn's tying goal with 1.7 seconds left in the game.

With every single point crucial, the Avalanche head down the Atlantic coast to take on the New Jersey Devils in a showdown of two of the top rookies in the league this year. Gabriel Landeskog is getting plenty of national press with his recent performances on national television, and some members of the press are calling the Calder Trophy race right now. But Devils rookie center Adam Henrique has a strong case for the award as well. The forward has excelled on the top line with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk this season, and is tied for the rookie lead (along with Landeskog) with 46 points on the season.

The Devils have a firm grasp on a playoff berth right now, and are only four points behind Pittsburgh for that coveted fourth seed in the East -- and the home ice advantage that comes with that position.Their stars have shone brightly of late, as Patrick Elias, Parise, and Kovalchuk are all averaging at least a point per game over their last ten contests. Future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur has been solid in net for the Devils, allowing only 15 goals in his past eight starts.

Colorado's offense is firing on all cylinders right now with the addition of McGinn and Steve Downie. They hope to continue their scoring ways with the return of Matt Duchene. The star forward was expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with an ankle injury, but was cleared for play against the Devils.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start in net, giving Semyon Varlamov some rest after his performance against the Sabres.

Puck drops at 5:00 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Devils blog In Lou We Trust.

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