Road Troubles

Phoenix,Az - Playing at home helped the Colorado Avalanche establish some consistency, but it remains to been seen if that success will translate on the road.

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The Avalanche seek to extend a three-game winning streak, while ending their recent road woes as they visit the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook have made the Coyotes –130 money line favorites for Tuesday’s game against the Avalance. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 57% of more than 197 bets for this game have been placed on the Coyotes -130.

After alternating wins and losses during a recent four-game swing, Colorado (19-16-1) regrouped with a perfect three-game homestand, capped by a 5-1 victory over Nashville on Monday night.

The Avalanche's last two wins came without leading scorer Paul Stastny, who was expected to undergo surgery Tuesday on a broken right forearm - an injury he suffered during a 5-4 overtime win over visiting Phoenix (17-15-5) on Dec. 23 that started the current winning streak.

Stastny, topping the Avalanche with 21 assists and 31 points, is projected to miss between six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, veteran center Joe Sakic remains sidelined until March after injuring his left hand in a snow blower accident recently.

In their absence, Colorado has received contributions from eight different players over the last three games. On Sunday, Cody McLeod scored twice and defenseman John-Michael Liles added a goal and an assist, giving him three goals and four assists during a three-game point streak.

"The younger guys have to step up, including myself," McLeod told the Avalanche's official Web site. "We just have to keep doing that. It's a 20-man effort and everybody contributed. Lucky bounces, but work hard and you get the bounces."

The Avalanche, however, haven't been able to capitalize on their offensive opportunities on the road, where they've been outscored 60-41 in going 8-10-1. They'll play just four of their next 16 contests away from the Pepsi Center.

Colorado, which owns its longest winning streak since a season-high five-game run from Oct. 16-25, is 6-1-1 in its last eight games at Phoenix, but lost 2-1 on Nov. 28 in its most recent game there.

Phoenix has been solid on home ice, owning an 11-5-2 record. It had collected at least a point in its first six home contests of the month (5-0-1) before enduring its third shutout of the season, 4-0 to visiting Los Angeles on Saturday.

The Coyotes, who were playing their fourth game in six nights, failed to gain at least a point for just the second time in 10 games (5-2-3).

"(Saturday night) we were flat and there really is no excuse for it," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who had a four-game point streak (three goals, three assists) snapped. "You need to be ready to go every night and (Saturday night) we didn't have the jump that we needed."

Phoenix also appeared sluggish on special teams, going 0-for-9 on the power play on Saturday, and is 3-for-31 in the last seven games. In the last four contests, the Coyotes have allowed seven power-play goals in 23 opportunities, with Los Angeles going 2-for-6.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves on Monday, but allowed five goals on 48 shots to the Avalanche earlier this month. Doan, who has team highs of 17 goals and 35 points, had two goals in that game and 13 in 46 career contests versus Colorado.

The Avalanche's Peter Budaj has given up four goals on 70 shots in winning his last two games. He's 4-1-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average in six career contests in Phoenix, but 0-2-2 in his last four overall against the Coyotes.

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Posted: 12/31/08 12:01AM ET


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