Series (Game 5 of 6)

Colorado leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 16th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 4th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 4: Sunday, January 4th
Game 5: Sunday, February 22nd
Game 6: Wednesday, March 31st

Avalanche 3

(33-14-4, 80 pts)

Wild 1

(21-23-2, 60 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 22, 2004

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
COL 1 1 13
MIN 0 1 01

Top Skaters

Colorado: P. Kariya - 1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2

Minnesota: M. Chouinard - 1 G, 3 SOG, Even

Colorado (32-14-10-4) at Minnesota (21-22-16-2) 7:00 pm EST

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Colorado Avalanche try to avoid their first four-game losing streak in over 15 months Sunday night as they visit the Minnesota Wild in a Northwest Division matchup.

Colorado has not lost four in a row since going 0-3-0-1 from November 4-10, 2002. The Avalanche have not had four straight regulation losses since opening the 1998-99 season with a 0-4-0 mark.

Colorado is second in the Western Conference, two points behind Detroit and four ahead of San Jose. The Avalanche own a three-point lead over Vancouver in the Northwest.

The Avalanche are second in the West with 179 goals but have produced just two in their last three games. They have dropped 5-1 decisions and fell to 16-4-7-3 on the road with Friday's loss in Dallas.

"We're not playing with a lot of confidence and things aren't going our way," Colorado right wing Milan Hejduk said. "We should be playing better than this. There are not enough shots coming from us. You don't score many goals when you don't shoot."

Before Friday, Colorado gained a point in its last 15 road games, going 9-0-4-2 since a 1-0 loss at Anaheim on December 19.

Colorado played without defensemen Rob Blake and Adam Foote and center Peter Forsberg. Foote is day-to-day with a groin injury and Forsberg is day-to-day with a hip injury.

In the last two days, the Avalanche have bolstered their blue line, picking up defenseman Bob Boughner from Carolina on Friday and defenseman Kurt Sauer from Anaheim on Saturday.

Minnesota is tied with Edmonton for 10th in the West, seven points behind Los Angeles for the final playoff spot. The Wild are 4-2-1 in their last seven and are trying to reach .500 for the first time since December 30.

The Wild have scored a combined 10 goals in their last two contests and Marian Gaborik has four of them. He registered a hat trick Tuesday in New Jersey and capped the scoring in Thursday's 6-2 home win over Vancouver.

Marc Chouinard recorded his first career multi-goal game and Antti Laaksonen scored on a penalty shot as the Wild improved to 17-1-4 this season when scoring three or more goals.

Colorado leads the series, 13-2-3-1.