Jan 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) is defended by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Game 62 Preview: Colorado Avalanche (39-17-5, 83 points) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (36-12-14, 86 points)

The Colorado Avalanche (39-17-5, 83) points are coming off of an offensive performance from the defensemen on Sunday as the Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-3. Nick Holden led the way scoring two goals for Colorado while Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie both chipped in goals of their own. In other notes, Nathan MacKinnon recorded a pair of assists to stretch his consecutive point streak to 11 games (5 goals, 11 assists).

What: NHL Preview:  vs. 
When: Tuesday, March 4th
Where: United Center
Time: 8:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM MT
TV: Altitude Sports

This is the fourth of five meetings between the two Central Division rivals this season as the Colorado Avalanche currently have the upper hand, up 2-1. In their most recent meeting back on Jan. 14th, Tyson Barrie would score in the overtime period to lift the Avs over Chicago, 3-2. Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov would earn a tough win as he would stop 44-of-46 shots, .958% save percentage. Chicago’s Andrew Shaw would lead the way for the Blackhawks in that meeting, recording a goal and an assist.

The Blackhawks will be without Marian Hossa for the next three weeks but played well in their last game that was apart of the Stadium Series Saturday night at Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears). They would defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1 as Jonathan Toews recorded two goals and one assist. Teammate Patrick Sharp would record a goal and an assist as well.

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville understands the importance of the game as the Avalanche have snuck up on the Blackhawks in the Central Division standings – via NHL.com

“I think [this is] an important game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think it’s more than a normal game with Colorado. We’ve got them the following week, as well. Very critical four points and could sort some things out between now and the end of the year by what happens in these next two games.”

Here is more from Joel Quenneville on the Avalanche’s success this season.

“With the way they’ve come on this season, they’re as good as anybody in the League,” Quenneville said of the Avalanche. “They’ve got some weapons and they’ve got some skill and speed and they’ve had success against us, so let’s don’t underestimate the importance of [this] game.”

Projected Starting Goaltenders:

Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov: 30-11-5, 2.48 GAA, .925% save percentage.

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford: 23-10-10, 2.31 GAA, .918% save percentage.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche

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