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Avalanche look to halt skid vs. Coyotes

By Nicolino DiBenedetto

Stats Writer

Phoenix (32-37-7) at Colorado (31-43-2), 9 p.m. EDT

DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche franchise hasn't endured

an eight-game losing streak in more than 17 years. The Avs will

be trying to avoid their first since moving to Denver when they

host the last-place Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.

Colorado (31-43-2) lost its seventh straight Sunday, 4-1 at

Anaheim as its disastrous season continued. The Avalanche

finished second in the Northwest Division with 95 points last

season, but they have the fewest points in the Western

Conference by far in 2008-09.

The slide is the team's longest since an eight-game skid from

Jan. 2-23, 1992, when the franchise was the Quebec Nordiques and

finished at the bottom of the Wales Conference.

Colorado is assured of its lowest point total since relocating

for the 1995-96 season. The Avs, winners of two Stanley Cups

since the move, trail 14th-place Phoenix (32-37-7) by seven

points with six games to play.

With 193 goals, the Avalanche are among the NHL's lowest-scoring

teams, something that's been evident during their slide.

Colorado has 10 goals in the seven losses and hasn't scored more

than two in any of those games.

Milan Hejduk, the team's co-leader with Ryan Smyth at 26 goals,

has one goal and one assist over the last 10 games after

producing five goals and seven assists in the previous 10.

Hejduk also hasn't been very productive against the Coyotes,

scoring one goal in the last seven matchups. That came in the

team's one meeting at the Pepsi Center this season, a 5-4 Avs

overtime victory Dec. 23.

Colorado dropped the following matchup 3-1 at Phoenix on Dec.

31, falling to 1-2-0 in the season series.

The Coyotes, who haven't won consecutive games since Feb. 19-21,

have alternated wins and losses in their last seven contests.

They're coming off Monday's 6-5 overtime victory against Dallas.

Phoenix is likely to dress Enver Lisin for a second consecutive

game after he had two goals and assisted on the winning score

versus the Stars. That performance came after the 22-year-old

right wing was a healthy scratch for nine consecutive games.

"It was very nice getting back in the lineup," Lisin said. "It

(being scratched) is part of the job. It's not the first time.

You just have to a professional, practice hard and wait for your

chance."

Lisin, the Coyotes' second-round pick in the 2004 draft, has 12

goals and eight assists in 45 games. He's collected three

assists in three career meetings with Colorado.

Shane Doan, Phoenix's leader with 29 goals and 67 points, has

three goals and nine assists in his last seven games versus the

Avs. The All-Star right wing had a goal and assisted on Petr

Prucha's winner Monday, giving him six goals and seven assists

in the last 11 games.

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