Oct 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) hip checks Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65) in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Game 63 Preview: Colorado Avalanche (40-17-5, 85 points) vs. Detroit Red Wings (28-21-12, 68 points)

The Colorado Avalanche (40-17-5, 85 points) are coming off of one of their most impressive wins of the season Tuesday night, defeating the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by the final score of 4-2. Erik Johnson would play a big part in the win as the defenseman had three assists while rookie Nathan MacKinnon stretched his consecutive game point streak to 12 games.

What: NHL Preview:  vs. 
When: Thursday, March 6th
Where: Joe Louis Arena
Time: 8:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM MT
TV: NHL Network

This will be the second and final meeting between the two longtime rivals as the Detroit Red Wings took the first game back on Oct. 17th, giving the Avalanche their first loss of the season. Johan Franzen was the difference maker in the game, scoring two goals while teammate Pavel Datsyuk (won’t play) scored two goals of his own. Erik Johnson and captain Gabriel Landeskog would score Colorado’s two goals.

In case you didn’t know, Colorado reached the 40-win mark faster than any team in franchise history with the win over the Blackhawks Tuesday night. They would record the feat in 62 games while the team back in 2000-01′ recorded 40 wins in 63 games.

Colorado was relatively quiet at the NHL Trade Deadline but would make one trade on the afternoon. They would acquire goaltender Reto Berra from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second-round draft pick. Here is more on what executive vice president Joe Sakic had to say about the trade via NHL.com:

“We wanted to make sure that if something happens to [starter Semyon Varlamov], we have a good guy there if [Jean-Sebastien Giguere's] back doesn’t hold up,” executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told reporters. “We have someone we know is a very good goalie. If [Varlamov] went down, the prospects aren’t ready, so we wanted to make sure we solidified that goalie situation for the next few years.”

The Detroit Red Wings would make a trade of their own, sending forward Patrick Eaves, a third-round draft pick, and Calle Jarnkrok to the Nashville Predators for forward David Legwand.

Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will not play Thursday night as he has been shut down for the next three weeks with a sore right knee.

Projected Starting Goaltenders:

Colorado Avalanche: Jean-Sebastien Giguere: 9-5-0, 2.62 GAA, .912% save percentage.

Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard: 13-14-9, 2.64 GAA, .913% save percentage.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche NHL Preview

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