Today on FOX Sports Arizona: Coyotes vs. Avalanche, 7 p.m.
By NOEY KUPCHAN
The Colorado Avalanche find themselves in one of their worst stretches of the season. Peter Forsberg's return to the ice may be coming at just the right time.
Forsberg, who helped win two Stanley Cup championships over 10 seasons with the Avalanche franchise, was signed Sunday and will travel with Colorado as it begins a four-game road trip against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.
The Avalanche (25-21-6) have lost five of six -- including three straight in regulation for the first time all season -- after falling 3-0 to Anaheim on Saturday, and coach Joe Sacco is looking forward to getting Forsberg back on the ice.
"When he's available to us it will be a big boost for us emotionally and a big boost in our lineup," Sacco said. "He has a strong history in our organization, but we're not doing it just for that reason. We're doing it because we really believe that he can help us here down the stretch in the last 30 games.
"We all know how tight the conference is and the importance of these games."
The Avalanche sit in 12th place in the Western Conference -- four points behind eighth-place Los Angeles and five behind the Coyotes. The 37-year-old Forsberg believes he can help get them back on track, but said he doesn't think he'll be ready to make his debut Monday.
"There are a few issues that have to be straightened out first," Forsberg said. "I'd like to play, but I'm not sure how it's going to go. I'm here, I came here to try and it's going pretty good. I'd like to start playing and see if I'm good enough."
The former Hart Trophy winner last appeared in the NHL in 2007-08, playing in nine regular-season contests and seven playoff games with Colorado before getting hurt. Forsberg spent the last two seasons playing for MoDo in his native Sweden.
He'll eventually join an Avalanche offense that ranks fifth in the NHL with 3.1 goals per game, but the Avs have averaged just 2.0 in their last six games. Goalie Craig Anderson is 0-4-0 with a 4.43 goals-against average in his last four appearances.
Colorado is converting 20.1 percent of its power-play chances, but it has scored on just two of 19 opportunities with the man advantage during its last six. The Coyotes have surrendered only two power-play goals in their last 25 chances.
Phoenix (26-19-9), which has outscored the Avalanche 16-5 en route to four consecutive wins in the series, had lost a season-worst five straight at home before Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 25 shots in a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday night.
"It's just some elements in our game, the desperation, the work that's needed hadn't been there," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We had to refocus for a couple of days here and it's a good first step for us."
Bryzgalov recorded his fourth shutout after going 0-5-0 with a 4.37 goals-against average in his team's recent home skid. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.95 GAA at home versus Colorado, though, since joining Phoenix in 2007.
Taylor Pyatt, who registered the Coyotes' lone goal Saturday, scored twice in a 2-0 road win Jan. 6 versus the Avalanche and extended his points streak against them to three games with an assist Jan. 26 during a 5-2 victory.
Shane Doan has recorded six goals and 14 assists in his last 18 games versus Colorado. Since 2007-08, Phoenix has gone 8-1-2 against the Avalanche when Doan has at least one point.
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski was held out with an upper-body injury for the second consecutive game Saturday and his status for this one is unknown.