Los Angeles (18-20-7) at Colorado (23-22-1)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Wed Jan 21, 2009
  • TV: FSW, ALT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Though goals have been hard to come by at times for the Colorado Avalanche, that wasn’t the case in their latest contest or any of their recent meetings with Los Angeles Kings.

With both clubs coming off rare high-scoring games, the host Avalanche look for a fifth consecutive victory over the Kings on Wednesday night.

While these teams sit in the bottom half of the league for scoring, Colorado (23-22-1) matched a season high for goals in a 6-2 home over Calgary on Sunday to improve to 1-1 on its eight-game home stretch. The total was one fewer than Colorado scored during a three-game losing streak snapped by the victory.

Six different players scored for the Avalanche, including Milan Hejduk and Ryan Smyth, who each posted the 300th goal of their careers.

The top-line pair are two of the eight who have scored the last 10 goals for Colorado, which continues to search for consistent offense with stars Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny still sidelined with injuries.

“It takes a little pressure off our leading goal scorers and our top lines,” forward Chris Stewart told the Avalanche’s official Web site of the team’s balance. “It makes our team that much more dynamic to have those other offensive threats.”

Prior to Monday, Colorado hadn’t scored that many goals since a 6-1 home win over Los Angeles on Dec. 9. Stewart, who has two of his five goals in the last four games, had a goal with an assist in that contest, while Hejduk and Smyth each scored for Colorado.

The Avalanche, who average just under three goals per game, have posted 19 in their last four games versus the Kings, who are tied with Nashville for last in the Western Conference with 111 goals.

Hejduk and Smyth have each scored three goals in helping Colorado win the previous three meetings with Los Angeles this season.

Peter Budaj has won four in a row over Los Angeles and is 6-1-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average versus the Kings. He is expected to be in net for this contest after making 39 saves against Calgary to snap a four-game losing streak.

Los Angeles (18-20-7) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Minnesota on Monday. The Kings scored one more goal than they did during the recent skid.

“We’ve got to get some momentum going and get on a roll,” said Kings defenseman Matt Greene, who had two assists versus Minnesota. “Everybody else is winning, and we’ve just got to get some points and stay in the hunt.”

Kyle Calder had a goal and an assist, while Dustin Brown, Derek Armstrong, Anze Kopitar and Patrick O’Sullivan added goals for the Kings, who scored more than four goals for just the sixth time this season.

O’Sullivan, who snapped a nine-game streak without a point, has two goals and an assist against the Avalanche this season.

With Erik Ersberg day-to-day because of a lower-body injury, Jonathan Quick could be back in net after making 25 saves against the Wild. Quick, who is 5-5-0 on the season, has never faced Colorado.

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Wednesday, Jan 21