The Colorado Avalanche modest two game winning streak came to a grinding halt last week, with a tight loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and an embarrassing 4-1 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. They continue their run against playoff caliber teams as they face off against the white hot Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks are led by blossoming superstar Corey Perry, who is making a name for himself this season with a surprising offensive campaign. Not only does Perry lead the Ducks with 46 goals, but his 85 points put him into solid contention for the Hart Trophy. His recent surge -- with 17 points in the past 10 games -- has carried Anaheim into the Western Conference playoff picture, even despite their uncertain goaltending situation. Starting goalie Jonas Hiller has played well while healthy, but has missed significant time this season due to a chronic case of vertigo.
Colorado, on the other hand, continues to slide in the NHL standings. They are now solidly placed to pick second overall in this June's 2011 NHL Entry Draft, four points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. Only division-mate Edmonton Oilers have garnered less points this season. Yet there have been some bright spots. Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly have both emerged from a scoring slump, and veteran Milan Hejduk has scored 20 goals for the 11th consecutive season, tying Joe Sakic's franchise record.
Anaheim needs to win to maintain their playoff position. Colorado just wants this season to end.
Brian Elliott will get the start in net after a solid performance against Toronto. Ray Emery will get the start for the Ducks.
Puck drops at 8:00 p.m. MDT.