Hurricanes take aim at first victory in Colorado since 1996

( – The Carolina Hurricanes will try on Saturday night to
secure their first victory in Colorado since relocating to Raleigh as they
visit the Avalanche and Pepsi Center.

The Hurricanes franchise has not picked up a victory in Denver since the
Hartford Whalers recorded a 3-2 overtime win on Feb. 9, 1996. Since that
decision, the club has gone 0-8-1 with two ties in Colorado.

Carolina split two meetings with Colorado last season, but the Avs are 15-3-1
with three ties in the past 22 meetings overall.

The Hurricanes are playing the third contest of a five-game road trip,
splitting the first two. They are coming off a 3-2 setback to the Los Angeles
Kings on Thursday.

Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist for Carolina and Eric Staal also scored
to record his 700th career point. Cam Ward made 36 saves in the Hurricanes’
fourth loss in five games overall.

“Both goalies were good, Ward was there when we needed him and made some big
saves,” said Staal. “They had a lot of shots and quality opportunities and he
made some key saves. We just didn’t get enough.”

Ward could get the start tonight and is 3-2-1 with a 2.97 goals against
average and .901 save percentage in his career against the Avs.

Colorado will be trying to avoid a second straight loss after getting bested
3-2 by the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Daniel Briere and Tyson Barrie
scored for the Avalanche, while Reto Berra made 20 saves as the Avalanche were
denied a third victory in a row.

“I thought we were outstanding defensively,” said Colorado coach Patrick Roy.
“It’s a tough situation losing a game where you think you played a good game,
but sometimes those things happen.”

Berra got the start with Semyon Varlamov missing the game due to a groin
injury and the backup will face the Hurricanes for the first time in his
career tonight.

Colorado also will be without forward Alex Tanguay, who left Thursday’s game
in the second period and did not return after getting hit in the face by a
slap shot taken by Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.