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Reply To: NHL • Sunday Service Plays • 12/27/15

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Preview: Arizona at Colorado

When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 27, 2015

Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The Colorado Avalanche return from the holiday break Sunday to face off against the Arizona Coyotes in the finale of their four-game homestand. Colorado won the first two contests on its string at Pepsi Center before suffering a 7-4 loss to Toronto on Monday.

The setback was the first since Dec. 9 for the Avalanche, ending their overall five-game winning streak. Arizona is coming off a 3-1-2 homestand that concluded with Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Los Angeles. The Coyotes scored power-play goals 30 seconds apart late in the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit and force the extra session, extending their point streak to three games. Arizona won the first of its three meetings with Colorado this season, posting a 4-2 home triumph Nov. 5 as defenseman Nicklas Grossmann scored a pair of goals.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, Altitude2 (Colorado)

ABOUT THE COYOTES (16-15-3):
Arizona added to its future Saturday, signing defenseman Dysin Mayo to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 19-year-old, who was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, has recorded a goal and 21 assists in 36 games with Edmonton of the Western Hockey League this season. Martin Hanzal missed his second straight game Saturday with a lower-body injury and is doubtful to face Colorado.

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (17-17-1):

Calvin Pickard will serve as Semyon Varlamov’s backup after being recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Friday due to Reto Berra’s ankle injury, which is expected to keep him sidelined for 10 days. The 23-year-old Pickard, who is expected to start Monday at San Jose, allowed four goals on 25 shots in two relief appearances for Colorado earlier this season. He made his NHL debut last campaign, going 6-7-3 with a 2.35 goals-against average in 16 games.

OVERTIME

1. Avalanche RW Jarome Iginla is two goals shy of 600 for his career and three behind Jari Kurri for 18th place on the all-time list.

2. Arizona D Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a pair of power-play goals Saturday, doubling his season total.

3. Colorado’s Matt Duchene leads the team with 16 goals but has scored just one in his last six contests while fellow C Nathan McKinnon, the club’s top scorer with 29 points, is mired in a 13-game goal-scoring drought.

PREDICTION: Avalanche 5, Coyotes 2