Chicago returns to the United Center on Monday night to host one of hockey’s hottest teams in the opener of a key four-game homestand.
Forsberg, Hejduk and Tanguay have combined for 19 goals and 33 assists over the last 12 games, during which Colorado has lost just once (9-0-2-1). One member of that line has scored or assisted on each of the Avalanche’s last seven goals.
On Saturday, Forsberg set up all three goals in a 3-2 victory over Minnesota that moved Colorado past the Wild into second place in the Northwest Division and fifth place in the Western Conference.
Patrick Roy is expected to get the start in the net for the Avalanche. He is 7-1-2 his last 10 starts.
Colorado also will have an extra cheerleader on hand in Joe Sakic. The long-time captain will accompany the team on its three-game road trip, although he is not ready to return from a broken foot that has sidelined him since January 20. Colorado is 16-1-2-1 without Sakic this season.
The Blackhawks also will be without a key contributor. Defenseman Phil Housley is out six weeks with a broken foot suffered in Friday’s loss to San Jose.
Chicago bounced back Saturday with a 7-1 rout of Columbus as Steve Sullivan collected a goal and four assists in the most productive game of his eight-year career.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Blackhawks, who trail Edmonton by three points for the final Western Conference playoff berth.
Roy did not face Chicago on November 25, but David Aebischer stopped 26 shots as the Avalanche blanked the Blackhawks, 1-0. Colorado, however, has just one win in its last seven trips to Chicago (1-5-1).
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