Ducks look to end struggles against Avalanche

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Anaheim (24-22-5) at Colorado (23-25-1), 3:00 p.m. EST

DENVER (Ticker) -- A tailspin has left the Anaheim Ducks in a

tenuous spot in the Western Conference.

The Ducks, who have lost seven of their last 10 games, hope to

end their struggles when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on

Saturday.

Anaheim last won back-to-back games on December 7-11 and is

caught in a four-way deadlock with Edmonton, Columbus and

Phoenix for the eighth and final spot in the crowded Western

Conference playoff picture.

It also seems a quiet goaltender controversy has polluted the

club, which is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks

on Wednesday.

Jonas Hiller has started four of the last five games in place of

the ineffective Jean-Sebastien, who started the All-Star Game

for the West.

Colorado is also stuck in a slide, losing six of seven. It has

also dropped five of the last six meetings with Anaheim.

The Avalanche have surrendered 16 goals in their last three

games - all setbacks - and their worst defensive performance

came in Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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