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Penguins

Shea-ved Ice: Avalanche Vs. Penguins Preview

By: Casey Shea
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be back in action tonight when they host the Colorado Avalanche at CONSOL Energy Center.

Pittsburgh is coming off a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night.

The Penguins rallied from three goals down to tie the game in the third period, but a couple of defensive breakdowns allowed the Hurricanes to regain the lead and put the game away.

Jordan Staal scored twice and Chris Kunitz scored the other goal for the Penguins.

Steve Sullivan did not play in the third period after suffering a lower-body injury. He did not practice on Monday and he is a game-time decision tonight.

Colorado got off to a quick start in October, but have cooled off considerably in the month of November (1-3-2).

On Saturday, the Avs almost rallied from a four-goal deficit, but fell short and lost 4-3 to Calgary.

Entering tonight’s game, seven different players have at least 10 points.

Matt Duchene leads the way with 13 points (six goals, seven assists), but Milan Hejduk (seven goals, five assists), Kyle Quincey (three goals, nine assists) and Ryan O’Reilly (two goals, 10 assists) are hot on his heels with 12 points each.

In goal, Semyon Varlamov has shouldered most of the load, but statistics might suggest his backup has been the better goaltender.

Varlamov is 5-7-1 with a 3.08 GAA and a .897 save percentage. However, Jean-Sebastien Giguere is 3-1 with a 2.18 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

Against the Penguins, Varlamov is 2-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .935 save percentage. Meanwhile, Gigure is 3-3-1 with a 2.42 GAA and a .910 save percentage with one shutout.

Pittsburgh may be getting some healthy bodies back in the lineup tonight. In my opinion, the likelihood of Sidney Crosby being one of those bodies is minimal.

However, head coach Dan Bylsma said Tyler Kennedy (concussion) would be a game-time decision. Kennedy has not played since Oct. 15.

Marc-Andre Fleury (9-2-1, 1.87 GAA, .932 save percentage) should get the start in net tonight after Brent Johnson played on Saturday.

Against the Avalanche, Fleury is 3-1 with a 2.77 GAA and a .894 save percentage.

The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on Versus.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CaseySheaPens.

For More Penguins Coverage Check Out Puck Talk With Popchock.

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