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Heatley expected back for Sharks in Game 4

DENVER -- Forward Dany Heatley expects to return to the San Jose Sharks lineup tonight for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the Pepsi Center (10 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC), but the Colorado Avalanche will be without Milan Hejduk.

Heatley was scratched from Sunday's Game 3 because of an undisclosed injury. Hejduk suffered an upper-body injury early in the first period after colliding with teammate Paul Stastny.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Heatley's status would be a game-time decision, but Heatley said he felt "good" after Tuesday's pregame skate.

"It's always tough to sit out," he said. "We played real well last game and have to do much of the same tonight."

The Avalanche have a 2-1 lead in the series, thanks to Sunday's 1-0 overtime win that was decided 51 seconds into the extra period on a fluke goal by rookie Ryan O'Reilly. He tipped in Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle's attempt to send the puck behind his own net.

The Sharks dominated the final two periods of regulation and outshot the Avalanche 51-17 overall, but couldn't solve goalie Craig Anderson.

"Just keep doing what we're doing," said Heatley, who scored 39 goals in the regular season. "We're getting chances. We're getting a lot of shots and eventually they're going to go in the net. We have to keep getting pucks to him and eventually we're going to get a couple.

"The bottom line is we're down 2-1. But we feel good about our game, especially the last game. We just have to keep doing more of those things and keep jamming at the net."

The Sharks' top line of Heatley, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau has combined for 4 assists and 28 shots in the series, but has yet to score a goal.

"We're getting chances, quality chances," Heatley said. "Eventually those are going to go in the net. We have guys who can put it in the net and the more chances you get, the more shots you have, you're going to get it."

The Avalanche, meanwhile, have totaled just 39 shots in the last two games and will have to find a way to generate more offense without Hejduk, who had 23 goals in 56 regular-season games. Hejduk also has scored 34 career playoff goals, tying him with Michel Goulet for third place in franchise history, and he's fourth with 76 points.

Marek Svatos, who had 7 goals in 54 games, will replace Hejduk in the lineup. He was a healthy scratch for 10 of the Avalanche's final 18 games and hasn't made a postseason appearance since 2004 because of injuries.

"It's an exciting time," Svatos said. "We're in a great position right now and we'll try to take advantage of home ice and go to San Jose with a two-game lead. It's never a good thing to lose key players in the playoffs. This is a chance to step in and show what I can do."

Hejduk was injured while he and Stastny were skating across the Sharks' blue line on a power play. Hejduk's head appeared to hit Stastny's shoulder and he fell to the ice.

"We were both looking the other way," Stastny said. "The puck came up and I was looking over my shoulder. He was looking up and, unfortunately, he ran into my shoulder. We didn't see each other. Sometimes fluky things happen like that. It's just bad luck and you hope he gets back as soon as possible."

Avalanche forward Chris Durno will make his first playoff appearance, replacing Ryan Stoa, who suffered a lower-body injury in the second period Sunday. Stoa played because Kevin Porter is sidelined with an upper-body injury.

Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said defenseman Ryan Wilson would be a healthy scratch. He'll be replaced by Brett Clark or Ruslan Salei, neither of whom has played in the series.

"All year long we've had injuries and a little bit of adversity," Sacco said. "Every team has hurdles and obstacles you have to face. We have made sure that the guys who aren't playing at least are prepared and ready to go."