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The Chicago Blackhawks continue to struggle on their nine-game road trip, and they still have six games remaining on the trek.
The Blackhawks will try to end a seven-game road losing streak Tuesday night when they visit the sputtering Colorado Avalanche, with one of these teams guaranteed to snap a five-game overall skid.
After leading the Western Conference on Jan. 20, Chicago has stumbled through an 0-4-1 stretch to drop to fourth place in the crowded Central Division and sixth in the West.
The Blackhawks (29-17-7) continued their tough trip Friday, losing 3-1 at Calgary following an 8-4 defeat at Edmonton the night before. They have been outscored 22-10 during the losing streak and 30-17 during their last seven road games dating back to a shootout win Dec. 14 at Minnesota.
"I think stretches like this get your attention and as a team you learn from this," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We haven't really had a challenge like this all year and it's up to us to recapture how we felt earlier in the year and know what it takes to win."
Goaltending has been a big issue during the trip, and Quenneville announced Monday that he will stick with Ray Emery in net after he stopped 29 of 32 shots Friday.
Emery, 11-4-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average this season, has allowed eight goals on 52 shots in two career appearances against Colorado. He'll try to help the Blackhawks avoid extending their longest road losing streak since a franchise-record 19-game skid Nov. 10, 2003-Jan. 29, 2004.
Chicago is also looking for more production from leading scorer Marian Hossa, who has been held without a point the last three games and without a goal in the last four. Hossa has two goals in three games against the Avalanche this season and seven goals and 11 points in eight career games at the Pepsi Center.
Colorado (26-25-3) is experiencing some struggles of its own. The Avalanche lost four straight in regulation before a 3-2 shootout loss to Vancouver on Saturday.
Despite putting 46 shots on net, Colorado came up short after the Canucks tied the game with 34.1 seconds remaining in regulation. The Avalanche were denied on three shootout attempts.
"Overall we played pretty well," said forward Jay McClement, who scored his seventh goal of the season in the second period. "We just didn't finish the way we wanted to, but I think we can take some positives from the way we played. ... We need that intensity."
Colorado has had a double-digit advantage in shots on goal in each of its last three games, but it has struggled to convert. The Avalanche lost 1-0 to Minnesota on Thursday, and they've scored two or fewer goals in 10 of their past 12 games while going 3-7-2.
Colorado is looking to win its third straight over the Blackhawks following two wins in Chicago earlier this season, including a 4-0 victory Jan. 6. The Avalanche lost 3-1 at home to the Blackhawks on Oct. 20.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has not been in net for any of the games against Chicago this season, but he has started Colorado's last two contests, stopping 47 of 50 shots. He is 14-6-1 with two ties and a 2.29 GAA versus the Blackhawks.
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