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Avalanche Vs. Coyotes: Ryan O'Reilly Returns

After losing two straight games since the All-Star Break, the Colorado Avalanche hope to get on the right track in Arizona as they face the Phoenix Coyotes for the third time in the past month. Phoenix has won the previous two meetings by a combined score of 7-2 -- though their 5-2 victory over Colorado was not your average game.

Colorado has good news, as forward Ryan O'Reilly will return to game action much sooner than anticipated. O'Reilly has missed seven games since injuring his shoulder on January 14 against the Minnesota Wild. His presence should give the Avalanche a much needed presence on the penalty kill, and help stabilize a third line that has been in flux the past two weeks.

The recently signed Peter Forsberg will not play tonight due to immigration issues, but will make his debut in an Avalanche sweater later on this four game road trip.

Phoenix has played themselves into playoff position (along with every other team in the Pacific Division) though they are 2-4 in their past six games and have not had their usual brilliant goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov. Much like the Avalanche, their offense has struggled to remain consistent. With the traditionally slow style that Phoenix craves, it could be a sluggish game on both sides.

Craig Anderson will start in net for Colorado. Ilya Bryzgalov is the likely starter for Phoenix.

Puck drops at 7:30 pm MST.