The Colorado Avalanche will try to climb out of the Western Conference basement on Monday, as they host the Calgary Flames in a clash between the West's worst teams.
Colorado enters Monday with 29 points, leaving the Avalanche just one point in back of the Flames. Neither team has much of a chance at making the postseason, as Calgary and the Avs are 12 and 13 points out of a playoff spot, respectively. The Flames have 11 games left on their schedule, while Colorado has 10.
The Avs are 2-1 against Calgary this season, but the Flames ended a four-game series' skid with a 4-3 home regulation win on March 27. Calgary has won 10 of 14 overall in this series, but Colorado has claimed the last two encounters on its home ice.
Both the Flames and Avalanche enter this game on sizeable losing streaks. Calgary is on its longest skid of the season, going 0-5 since its last win, which was the home victory against Colorado on March 27. Longtime Flames star Jarome Iginla was a healthy scratch for that win over the Avalanche and it was announced that he was traded to Pittsburgh shortly after the game.
Meanwhile, the Avs are 0-3-1 over their last four outings for their third four-game slide in less than a month. Colorado went 0-4 from March 12-18 and also lost four straight in regulation from March 23-28.
The Flames fell to Vancouver on Saturday, losing its 13th straight on the road to fall to 3-13-2 as the guest this season. Only Colorado has a longer current road losing streak in the NHL, as it lost its 14th straight game away from Denver in Saturday's loss to Phoenix.
Henrik Sedin scored once and had two assists and Daniel Sedin added three helpers to lead the Canucks to the 5-2 win over the Flames, who last won as the guest on Feb. 17 in Dallas. Cory Schneider stopped 36-of-38 shots in the win.
Dennis Wideman and Alex Tanguay each scored once for the Flames and Matt Stajan added two assists for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff had 17 saves in the setback.
"I really believe Cory Schneider was the difference in tonight's game," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said. "He made some unbelievable saves at critical times of the game."
Calgary is completing a three-game road trip tonight before playing two straight and four of its next five at the Saddledome.
The Avalanche were handed a 4-0 loss in Saturday's meeting with the Coyotes. Mike Smith returned from a six-game absence for Phoenix and posted 24 saves to notch his fifth shutout of the season.
Semyon Varlamov allowed all four goals on 28 shots for the Avalanche, who lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell to 2-15-3 as the road team this year.
"It's been a tough stretch here," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "We're trying to do what we can as coaches to make sure the guys are staying positive and sticking together."
Colorado is 10-6-2 on home ice, but the Avs will head out on a two-game tour of Anaheim and Los Angeles after Monday's game.