With yet another chance to move up in the division standings, the Colorado Avalanche play Wednesday night at home against Chicago, which is one point ahead of the Avs in the Central Division.
Colorado has won three of four against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. The Avs are six points behind St. Louis, which beat Colorado Saturday at the Pepsi Center.
"We match up well against them. We're all extremely motivated to play these guys," Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog said after Wednesday morning's skate. "Anytime the defending Stanley Cup champions come to town, they're not going to get any freebies against any team. Every team gets up for these games even more."
Avs forward Paul Stastny, who has been sidelined with a back injury since Saturday's game against St. Louis, did not skate Wednesday morning. The Avs also will be without P.A. Parenteau, who will miss four to six weeks because of a right knee injury sustained early in Monday's win against Winnipeg.
There is a good chance these teams could meet early in the postseason. The Avs have looked at the Blackhawks' blueprint to success and have made strides to copy it. Landeskog said they know Chicago's history and have to keep it in perspective.
"You can't give them too much respect, because that's just going to backfire," Landeskog said. "Right now we put that aside and do what we gotta do."
Colorado next plays Pacific Division-leaders Anaheim on Friday to end a four-game homestand.