Avs aim to close homestand with win over 'Canes

The Colorado Avalanche recently put their longest skid of game homestand with another victory when they face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche had lost five straight (0-4-1) before busting out of the slump with Tuesday's 5-2 win over Chicago. Colorado needs all the wins it can get, as it enters tonight as the 12th seed in the Western Conference playoff race and just three points out of a postseason spot.

David Jones scored twice for Colorado as it took down the slumping Blackhawks on Tuesday. The victory pushed the Avalanche's record at home to 15-13-1, and after tonight's homestand finale, Colorado will play four straight and six of its next seven on the road.

Kyle Quincey, Peter Mueller and Gabriel Landeskog each added a goal for the Avs on Tuesday, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere gave up just two goals on 31 shots. The score was tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes, but Landeskog's tally put the Avalanche up for good just 38 seconds into the third period.

"Honestly, when we play teams like Chicago and Vancouver, we seem to respect them more," said Colorado center Paul Stastny, who had two assists in the game. "We move the puck quicker, we may give up a few more transitions, but we also get more chances. And when Giguere plays like he did tonight, we are fine."

Injured Avs forward Matt Duchene has been working on skating drills in recent days, but it's still unclear when the 21-year-old will be able to return to action. Duchene, who has 12 goals and 12 assists in 39 games this year, hasn't played since suffering a knee injury against Phoenix on Dec. 29.

While Colorado is knocking on the door in the Western Conference playoff race, the Hurricanes are last in the East and 10 points out of a postseason berth. Carolina has recorded a point in three straight games (2-0-1), but it's coming off Wednesday's overtime loss in Anaheim.

Corey Perry scored the game-winning goal at 2:14 of the overtime period to lift the Ducks to a 3-2 home win. Carolina held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but wasn't able to close out Anaheim.

Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Staal lit the lamp and Cam Ward made 31 saves in defeat for the Hurricanes, who squandered a chance to secure their first three-game winning streak since October 12-18.

"Our effort was there," Staal said. "It's just unfortunate things went against us in the overtime."

Tonight marks the second stop on a three-game road trip for the 'Canes, who have a dismal 6-13-7 record as the guest this season. The swing is set to end Monday in Montreal.

Carolina has won three of the last four meetings against the Avalanche, but the Hurricanes are winless in their past nine at Colorado, going 0-6-1 with a pair of ties since. They haven't won there since picking up an overtime win as the Hartford Whalers on Feb. 9. 1996.