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Colorado
Avalanche
44-31-7
Dallas
Stars
45-30-7

19 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
DAL
game preview

Avalanche-Stars Preview

Sunday, 03.09.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

The last time Jose Theodore enjoyed a stretch like this, he ended up winning the Hart and Vezina Trophies.

While that isn't likely to happen this time, the Colorado Avalanche goaltender is more concerned with helping his surging team move atop the Northwest Division.

They get the chance to do that Sunday when they host the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars in the conclusion of a home-and-home series.

Theodore has helped the Avalanche (37-26-6) win a season-high six straight, posting a 1.32 goals-against average with one shutout in that stretch. This is his longest win streak since he won seven consecutive games with Montreal from March 28-April 9, 2002.

Theodore, who sat behind Peter Budaj for the first half of this season, continued his outstanding play Saturday with 25 saves in a 3-1 win over the Stars (41-25-5).

Colorado, seeking its first seven-game streak since an eight-game run from Dec. 31-Jan. 17, 2006, moved into a tie with Calgary and Minnesota atop the Northwest. The Wild host San Jose on Sunday, while the Flames are idle.

"This win is really huge," Theodore said. "It's huge for our confidence."

Despite having to face the same team on consecutive days, Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville is prepared to stick with the red-hot Theodore, who is 0-5-0 with a tie and a 3.52 GAA in six career games at Dallas.

"We don't know yet for sure, but it's a good idea (to start him)," Quenneville said.

The Avs are hoping Peter Forsberg can continue to contribute after he assisted on two goals Saturday following a pair of pointless performances in his first two games since signing a one-year contract on Feb. 25.

"It's very tough coming in here this late in a season, so it's good to get a couple of points," Forsberg said.

Both of Forsberg's assists against Dallas came in the third period after Quenneville decided to put him on a line with Paul Stastny and Andrew Brunette.

"He's one of those rare players that can buy time with the puck," said Brunette, who had a goal Saturday to give him three goals and as many assists in five games. "They seem like they're never rushed and they always find the open man. It's a lot more fun to play with him than against him."

Dallas, which is second overall in the Western Conference, hopes to avoid matching a season-high four-game slide set from Dec. 31-Jan. 5. The Stars have scored only one goal in each of the three games during their current skid, cutting their division lead to one point over San Jose, which has won eight straight entering Sunday's game at Minnesota.

"We're kidding ourselves if we think we are going to play deep in the playoffs doing the things we are doing right now," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "These are good games for us, we just need to learn how to win these types of games and close them out. I don't think we are going to get an easy game the rest of the year. We need to get our game going quick."

Morrow, second on the team with 26 goals and 63 points, has been held pointless during the skid after collecting two goals and six assists during a four-game win streak. He has only one assist in three games this season against Colorado.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 09 '08COL 0 at DAL 3S. Barnes
Mar 08 '08DAL 1 at COL 3A. Brunette
Nov 16 '07COL 1 at DAL 6J. Jokinen
Oct 03 '07DAL 3 at COL 4W. Wolski
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%