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Avalanche Vs. Lightning: Colorado Closes Homestand With Chance For Winning Record

The Colorado Avalanche have discovered how to win at home; Jean-Sebastien Giguere in net, solid special teams, and a swarming defensive pressure. After Wednesday's home victory over the streaking St. Louis Blues, the Avalanche have won the first three games of this homestand and have improved their record to 17-17-1 on the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning come to town as the last game on this home stretch, giving Colorado an excellent chance at heading back on the road with a winning record and in the Western Conference playoff discussion.

The Lightning were a game away from their franchise's second Stanley Cup Finals appearance last season, but that same success has not continued this season. Despite Steven Stamkos continuing his constant presence among the league scoring leaders, their offense as a whole has struggled to produce on a consistent basis. Vincent LeCavalier and Martin St. Louis are the only other Lightning players to even reach double digits -- in fact, Tampa Bay only has five players on their entire roster that have scored more than 5 goals on the season. Their top heavy offensive production has not helped their defense either, allowing 114 goals on the season (good for 27th in the league). 

For Colorado, Giguere will once again get the start in net. His excellent performances this week have allowed Semyon Varlamov plenty of time to rest his strained back. Defenseman Kyle Quincey is healthy once again, but head coach Joe Sacco will use the same lineup that has outhustled other teams this past week. 

Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Lightning blog Raw Charge.