Bruins-Avalanche Preview

The only thing that may slow down the Boston Bruins is the All-Star break, and getting Brad Marchand back from suspension could prevent that from happening.

The Bruins look to continue their recent surge Wednesday night against the sputtering Colorado Avalanche.

Boston (25-16-6) has won six of seven games, matching its win total from the previous 19 (6-7-6). The Bruins' turnaround continued Tuesday, when they scored three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win at Dallas despite being outshot 37-27.

"It was a fun game to watch, I bet," said Tuukka Rask, who had 36 saves. "There were a lot of chances on both sides, a lot of power plays."

Rask has a 1.49 goals-against average and a 5-1-0 record in his last six games, but it's unclear if he'll start Wednesday.

Marchand, however, is expected to return after serving a two-game ban for slew-footing Derick Brassard in a 3-0 win Thursday over the New York Rangers.

The left wing has a team-high 12 goals, but none in his past seven road games. His only four points in five career meetings with the Avalanche came in a 6-2 road win on Jan. 22, 2011.

Boston has won three straight and five of six in Colorado after posting a 2-0 victory on March 21.

Rask has never appeared in Denver, and that could be the case again as the Bruins may turn to rookie Niklas Svedberg. He had 14 saves in a 3-0 win over New Jersey in his most recent start Jan. 8.

Svedberg, though, was beaten by Daniel Briere with 0.4 seconds left in a 2-1 home loss to Colorado on Oct. 13. He finished with 28 stops in his season debut.

Patrice Bergeron, Boston's lone All-Star, has eight points in five road meetings with the Avalanche, scoring a goal in each of the last two.

The Avalanche (19-18-10) are back home following a 1-2-2 road trip that ended with Monday's 3-1 loss at St. Louis.

"I think we had our moments. We had some good periods," defenseman Brad Stuart said. "We should be disappointed in ourselves that we didn't put together more 60-minute efforts. We had games where we were good for 60 and not for 20 and vice versa. As a result, we only got four points and in the big picture, isn't good enough.

"We gotta forget about it. We gotta move on. We've got one game before the break and then we gotta make sure we get ready for a good push after."

Unlike last season when Colorado won the Central Division, the team is five points behind Calgary for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Nathan MacKinnon, last season's Calder Trophy winner, had two points during the trip and missed both shootout attempts. The center has one goal in the last five home games, but the Avalanche have won four.

Semyon Varlamov is expected to be back in net after making 27 saves Monday. He's won five of his last six games at home behind a 2.12 GAA, and he's 1-2-1 with a 2.12 GAA in five meetings with Boston.

"We know what they're all about. We know they're one of the top teams in the East," captain Gabriel Landeskog said of the Bruins. "I think, for us, we're going to focus on a good first period. If we can have a good first period, it'll set us up nice for a good second and third."

Colorado has been outscored 7-1 in the first period of its past six games.

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