The hated Detroit Red Wings make their second appearance of the year to Pepsi Center and will play the Colorado Avalanche in their fourth and final regular season game this season. The two clubs have split their previous three matchups, with Detroit leading the season series 2-0-1. Two of these three games have gone to overtime, with their previous game on December 27 being the most dramatic. Colorado dominated the entire game, outshooting the Red Wings by a 52-34 margin. But it was the Detroit power play that saved the day, scoring all four of their goals with the man advantage and giving goalie Chris Osgood his 400th career victory.
Coming into this game, both teams are heading in opposite directions. Despite losing top forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary for at least the next month, the Red Wings have won three straight games (all on the road) and their offense has continued to produce at an elite level, scoring three or more goals in four of their past six games.
Colorado, on the other hand, has suffered a shortage of goal scoring. Forward Chris Stewart is expected to return from his hand injury in the next week or so, and it can't be soon enough. After not being shut out all year, the Avalanche have now been held scoreless twice in the past nine games (and have only scored one goal in two other games). For a team that prides itself on speed and crisp passing, this will not win many games.
Peter Budaj will get the start in net for Colorado tonight; Budaj has started all four games against Detroit this season. Jimmy Howard will get the start for Detroit.
Puck drops at Pepsi Center at 7:30pm MST.