Avalanche focused on late-season surge to make playoffs | SummitDaily.com

Avalanche focused on late-season surge to make playoffs

Dallas Stars defenseman Jason Demers, center, pursues the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog, of Sweden, as Stars goalie Jhonas Enroth, of Sweden, left, looks on in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After a home loss to the New York Rangers last week, the Avalanche publicly challenged itself to get 40 points in the season’s remaining 27 games — hoping that a 95-point total would be enough to make the NHL playoffs.

Victories over Dallas and Arizona followed.

Four points down, 36 to go …

“Every day we come to the rink, we’re focused on that next two,” Avalanche center Matt Duchene said after the 5-2 victory over the Coyotes on Monday night. “We’ve played pretty well recently. Even that New York game, I thought we played pretty well and could have had two points there. We’ll continue to press forward.”

After having a day off — no off-ice work, no practice — on Tuesday, the Avalanche will finish out the four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings. The defending Stanley Cup champions have won five consecutive games, but still are on the outside of the playoff picture. Going into Tuesday night’s games, San Jose was in the final wild-card spot, at 66 points, two ahead of the Kings and seven ahead of the Avalanche.

Full Denver Post story is available at http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_27542878/avs-focused-that-next-two-late-season-surge

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