(SportsNetwork.com) - Even if they win the rest of their games the Colorado Avalanche still would likely miss the postseason. A regulation loss in Friday's game at Anaheim would make it a certainty.
With five games remaining on its schedule, Colorado could possibly reach 92 points and that may not be enough to stay ahead of either the Los Angeles Kings or Winnipeg Jets, who each have 90 points and five games left in the season.
The Avs, who won the Central Division crown in 2013-14, have lost two straight and five of their last seven games. The club is coming off consecutive setbacks, as it dropped a 4-1 home decision versus Edmonton on Monday before losing Wednesday in San Jose by a 5-1 count.
Colorado was only down 1-0 heading into the third before giving up four goals over the final 20 minutes. San Jose's third-period barrage included a pair of empty-net goals.
Matt Duchene scored the lone goal for the Avs and became the fourth Colorado player to reach the 20-goal mark this season. Duchene joins Jarome Iginla (26), Alex Tanguay (22) and Gabriel Landeskog (22) on that list.
Reto Berra allowed three goals on 27 shots for the Avalanche and he is expected to start again tonight. No. 1 netminder Semyon Varlamov will likely go tomorrow evening in Los Angeles when the Avs complete a three-game road trip.
Avs defenseman Scott Hannan left Wednesday's game after getting hit in the face with the puck and is questionable for tonight.
Anaheim enters Friday on a four-game win streak and the club clinched its third straight Pacific Division title with Wednesday's 5-1 rout of the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
The Ducks lead the NHL with 107 points, two more than the New York Rangers. Anaheim also is four points ahead of Nashville for the top seed in the West.
The Predators are idle tonight and have four games left in the regular season while Anaheim will only have two tests remaining after Friday's clash with the Avs.
The Ducks jumped out to a 4-0 in the victory over the Oilers. Francois Beauchemin and Andrew Cogliano each posted a goal and an assist, with Cogliano's marker coming on a penalty shot early in the third period.
Corey Perry added his 33rd goal of the season in the win, while Jakob Silfverberg recorded three assists. Frederik Andersen stopped 22 shots for the win, Anaheim's eighth triumph in the last 10 games.
"We've put ourselves in a good spot," Cogliano said. "We have a good team and it speaks to the coaching staff and organization, but it's just one part of the puzzle."
Anaheim kicked off a three-game homestand against Edmonton and pushed its record at the Honda Center to 26-10-3. The Ducks will cap the residency Wednesday in Dallas before closing the regular season in Arizona on April 11.
The Ducks have won four in a row against Colorado and can sweep the three-game season series with another victory tonight. Anaheim has won two straight and 12 of its last 15 home tilts versus the Avs.