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Monday, January 10, 2011
Burnside: This week's games to watch

By Scott Burnside

Monday: Detroit at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. ET

The Red Wings are now without Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Cleary and defenseman Brad Stuart after Stuart was the subject of a cheap shot by Calgary's Tom Kostopoulos, who earned a six-game suspension for his hit to the head. The Avs, meanwhile, have won just twice in their past nine games and need to get back on track to keep a playoff spot in the West.

Prediction: The Avs take advantage of the short-staffed Red Wings for a rare home win.

Tuesday: Minnesota at Nashville, 8 p.m. ET

Both teams are trying to extend periods of strong play; the Predators are on a five-game winning streak, and the Wild have won four of five. The Preds defeated Minny on New Year's Eve, so it's time for a little payback.

Prediction: Jose Theodore continues his winning ways for the Wild.

Wednesday: Washington at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lightning defeated the Caps in Dwayne Roloson's first start as a Capital last week, but it took overtime. This one might, too. The Capitals have lost just once in regulation in their past 10 games but need players like Alexander Semin to start producing to take the heat off the defense. Semyon Varlamov has been terrific in goal.

Prediction: Turnabout is fair play, as the Caps win this one in extra time.

Thursday: St. Louis at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. ET

So, are the Kings ready to bounce back after a disappointing start to 2011? Their defense and goaltending have to be better. Meanwhile, the Blues are also struggling after reeling off five straight wins in mid-December. This will be the third conference clash of the week for the Blues.

Prediction: The Kings come out on top against the weary Blues.

Friday: Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Thrashers have all week to prepare for the Flyers and need to start collecting wins after winning just three of their past 10 games. The Flyers, meanwhile, will be looking to extend their lead atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Prediction: Big win at home for the Thrashers. The question is, how many will be on hand to watch?

Burnside's record last week: 3-2.