Ottawa (14-16-3) at Colorado (17-10-4)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Fri Dec 17, 2010
  • TV: RDS, ALT
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The Colorado Avalanche felt Tomas Fleischmann(notes) needed a fresh start. So far, they’re proving to be correct.

Coming off his first hat trick, Fleischmann looks to continue his surge while helping the Avalanche extend their winning streak to a season-high five games when they host the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

Fleischmann had seen his offensive production rise in each of the last three seasons with Washington, culminating in career highs of 23 goals and 28 assists in 2009-10. The Czech left wing was having trouble replicating that success through the first 23 games this season, totaling four goals and six assists.

Despite the slump, the Avalanche (17-10-4) acquired him from the Capitals for defenseman Scott Hannan(notes) on Nov. 30, hoping he could regain his scoring touch.

Fleischmann has done just that, netting five goals and setting up five others in seven games since the deal.

“We’re trying to put him in a position where he can succeed,” coach Joe Sacco said. “I think it’s a fresh start for him.”

Fleischmann’s surge showed little signs of slowing Wednesday, as he completed his first career hat trick in a span of 10:12 of the third period to spur a 4-3 win over Chicago, sweeping a home-and-home set from the reigning Stanley Cup champions. His first two goals came 1:54 apart after the Blackhawks’ Jordan Hendry(notes) was assessed a double-minor for high sticking.

“Four minutes, you wish you can score one goal,” said Fleischmann, who had a goal and two assists in a 7-5 win over the Blackhawks at home Monday. “When we got the first one in the first two minutes, you just push for a second one. It went in, too. It was probably the key point of the game.”

Fleischmann is a major reason Colorado has tied its season-high four-game winning streak, and is in position for its longest run since winning six in a row Jan. 9-24.

The Avalanche have also won three in a row over the Senators (14-16-3), including a 4-3 win at Ottawa in the lone meeting last season Dec. 30. They’re 13-3-0 with a tie at home in the series, although eight of those wins came when they were the Quebec Nordiques.

The Senators are trying to win consecutive games for the first time since a season-high four-game winning streak Nov. 2-9. They’re 6-10-2 since, but looking to build momentum from Thursday’s 3-1 win at Minnesota. Ottawa scored on both of its power plays while killing all three of the Wild’s.

“The difference was obviously special teams,” right wing Daniel Alfredsson(notes) said. “We killed some big penalties in the first period and took advantage of our own chances.”

Alfredsson, the team leader with 10 goals and 20 points, appears to be putting a rough stretch behind him. He has a goal in each of his last two contests following a career-high 12-game point drought.

Alfredsson has one goal and seven assists in his last five meetings with Colorado.

Erik Karlsson(notes) is also putting together a strong offensive stretch. The defenseman assisted on all three goals against the Wild, giving him seven points in his last five games. Karlsson’s 19 points on the season are second on the Senators and five fewer than his total as a rookie in 2009-10.

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Friday, Dec 17