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Avalanche Vs. Flames: Colorado Desperately Needs A Division Win

The Colorado Avalanche had a bad start to their three game divisional road trip, losing in convincing fashion against the Vancouver Canucks. Thursday's opponent is a familiar foe; the Calgary Flames.

Colorado has lost all three games they've played against Calgary this season, and would need to sweep the remaining games against them this season just to pull even with the Flames.Their lack of success against Calgary is the main reason behind their dreadful 2-6 record within the division. No matter how much success Colorado has against the Eastern Conference, a poor divisional record will drag them down in the standings.

For Calgary, they couldn't be more excited to play Colorado. A full quarter of their victories this season have come against the Avalanche. The Flames' offense and special teams still rate among the league's worst, and their goaltending has been nothing special of late. Miikka Kiprusoff has a 5-2-1 record in his past nine games, but with very middling peripheral stats (2.78 GAA, .901 SV%).

Calgary is a very beatable team, and yet the Avalanche have not been able to find the solution yet this season. They'll be shorthanded again tonight, as Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports that defenseman Ryan Wilson and forward Paul Stastny are doubtful for Thursday's game against the Flames.

Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Flames blog Matchsticks And Gasoline.