Colorado at Anaheim
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Sunday, April 13, 2014
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
The formula is simple for the Colorado Avalance heading into Sunday's regular-season finale at the Anaheim Ducks - win and they wrap up the Central Division title and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Colorado's task became much easier when the Ducks clinched the top seed in the West with a 4-3 shootout win over Los Angeles on Saturday night. The Avalanche are tied with St. Louis atop the Central but they hold the tiebreaker thanks to an 8-1-1 surge over the past 10 games.
Even though Anaheim has nothing for which to play, there promises to be a celebratory atmosphere at the Honda Center on Sunday as longtime Ducks standout Teemu Selanne plays his final-regular season game. The future Hall-of-Famer, who is in his 22nd season overall and second stint with the Ducks, was honored in a pregame ceremony by the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night even though he was a healthy scratch. The Ducks are expected to rest some players in preparation for a first-round series versus Dallas.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ALT (Colorado), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (52-22-7): PA Parenteau returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a knee injury, but defenseman Tyson Barrie suffered an upper-body injury in Friday's 5-1 loss at San Jose and is expected to miss Sunday's game. After the curious decision to start Reto Berra against the Sharks, Semyon Varlamov is expected to be back in net for the potential division clincher. Varlamov, who broke Avalanche coach Patrick Roy's franchise record with his 41st win Thursday, is 7-0-1 in his last eight and has not allowed more than two goals in seven straight outings.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (53-20-8): Selanne's name is etched throughout the NHL record books for an illustrious career that produced 684 goals and 1,457 points, which rank 11th and 15th, respectively, on the all-time list. The Finnish Flash took the league by storm when he pumped home 76 goals in his first season to shatter the NHL rookie record by 23 tallies and went on to add a pair of 50-goal seasons and four more with at least 40. Selanne, who played in 10 All-Star Games, forever endeared himself to the home fans in 2006-07 - scoring 48 goals and leading Anaheim to its only Stanley Cup title.
1. Colorado will open the playoffs versus Minnesota if its wins the division; otherwise it will face reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago.
2. Selanne had 36 goals and 41 assists in 69 career games against the Avalanche.
3. Varlamov is 3-2-1 lifetime against the Ducks, although he allowed five goals to them in a 6-4 loss on March 14.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Ducks 2
Stats and Records