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Blackhawks vs. Avalanche game preview 2015: Chicago looks to snap 4-game series skid against Colorado

The Blackhawks shoot for two in a row as they close out 2015 in Denver.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks will look for redemption when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at Pepsi Center.

Kane had his franchise-record 26-game point streak snapped as the Blackhawks failed on both power-play chances in a 3-0 loss to Colorado in the season series opener Dec. 15 in Chicago. The Hawks have been outscored and outmatched 12-3 during a four-game skid to the Avs (18-17-2).

Chicago ranks among the league's best in power-play conversion at 23.3 percent. But before Tuesday night's wild 7-5 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, they had gone 1 for 11, they went 3 for 4 in Arizona.

The Hawks have yet to name a starting goaltender for the game. Corey Crawford is 3-7-2 with a 3.20 goals-against average since 2011 against the Avs. He has struggled lately, posting a 3.51 GAA in his last four starts.

Fun fact: The Hawks have won the Stanley Cup every year they've won their final game of the year expect for the 2013 lockout season.



Defensive pairings:


Opponent Breakdown

Colorado Avalanche | Record: 18-17-2 | 6th in Central Division | Goal Differential +4

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to play despite taking a puck to the face in the Avalanche's 6-3 win at the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Semyon Varlamov will start in net after resting against the Sharks. Varlamov has been stellar in his 15 career appearances against the Hawks with an 11-3-0 record, a 1.80 GAA, .949 save percentage and three shutouts. The Avs are 7-2-1 in its past 10 games, but only 6-8-2 at home.

Despite sitting in 6th place in the division, they are making a strong bid to secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a strong 7-2 record against Central Division foes. The Avs currently possess the ninth-best power play in the league as of Wednesday after finding success four times with the man-advantage in San Jose.

Along with Varlamov, defenseman Tyson Barrie has also found consistent success against Chicago, posting 12 points (5G, 7A) in 13 career matchups, including an assist earlier this month. Barrie leads team defensemen and ranks fifth among skaters with 23 points (4G, 19A) in 34 games, and he has a goal and three assists in his last four games.



Defensive Pairings:



BlackhawksMarcus Kruger

Avs: Berra, Streeet, Stuart and Winchester

How to watch

When: 7 p.m. CT

Where: Pepsi Center, Denver