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Without Sakic, Avalanche go for third straight win

Colorado (12-12-0) at Nashville (12-10-2) 8:00 p.m. EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Facing a six-week stretch

without their captain, the Colorado Avalanche hope their recent

offensive outburst continues.

Colorado goes for its third straight win without Joe Sakic when

it takes on the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Sakic has been plagued with back injuries for much of the

season, missing nine of the last 12 games and only playing one

complete game during that stretch. It was announced Wednesday

the 39-year old center will miss six weeks with a herniated disk

in his back, an injury he suffered during a weight room session

last month.

The Avalanche have managed just fine without him, going 7-5-0,

including a 10-goal outburst over their last two contests.

Wojtek Wolski scored a pair of goals and Marek Svatos had three

assists in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay, a game that saw goaltender

Andrew Raycroft make 17 saves in his first start since October

31.

Peter Budaj was back in net on Monday against Minnesota and

allowed five goals on just 17 shots, but Paul Stastny had two

goals and an assist as the Avs scored four second-period goals

and hung on for a 6-5 win.

Nashville backup netminder Pekka Rinne, who improved to 4-0 and

registered his first career shutout in a 2-0 win over Buffalo

Monday, is expected to get his third start in the last four

games according to The Tennessean.

Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont scored goals just 2:33 apart midway

through the third period for the Predators, who will be looking

to snap a three-game home losing streak.

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