The Colorado Avalanche host the streaking Atlanta Thrashers Tuesday night at Pepsi Center, but with a new look to their roster. In the last 24 hours, Colorado has completed two separate trades and have given their defensive corps an fresh new look. While newly acquired forward Tomas Fleischmann will not arrive to the arena in time to dress, new defenseman Matt Hunwick is expected to make his Avalanche debut.
The Atlanta Thrashers roar into town on the heels of a five-game winning streak that has resuscitated their season, catapulting them into the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They've handled some strong competition during that time, dominating Cup hopefuls Washington and Detroit, among others. Led by two of the three NHL Stars of the Week in Dustin Byfuglien (who has four goals and seven assists during the streak) and goalie Ondrej Pavelec (NHL leading 1.62 GAA and .949 SV%), the Thrashers have their sights set on making the Southeast Division a three-team race, joining the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Peter Budaj will again get the start tonight, with Craig Anderson expected to make his return on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the first of six straight games against the Southeast Division, and the only one that Avalanche will have at home. After tonight, they are on the road for five straight games and will not return to Pepsi Center until a December 13 game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The puck drops at 8pm MDT.
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