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Colorado
Avalanche
32-45-5
Dallas
Stars
36-35-11

22 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
DAL
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Avalanche-Stars Preview

Saturday, 10.18.2008 / 1:00 PM

Associated Press

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Avalanche-Stars Preview
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars

Marty Turco looks to start shaking off his rough start to the season when the Dallas Stars host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Turco, in his sixth season as the top goalie for Dallas (1-2-1), has started all four of the Stars' games and has a 4.59 goals-against average - nearly double his GAA last season.

"I care deeply about this team and we are trying to straighten this out," Turco told the team's official Web site. "I need to worry about stopping pucks, and it's imperative to have good goaltending if you are going to win in this league. I know what I need to do."

He allowed five goals on 18 shots through two periods Thursday before Tobias Stephan replaced him in Dallas' 6-1 loss at St. Louis. Turco has given up 17 goals in four starts, compiling a .823 save percentage, after going 32-21-6 with a 2.31 GAA last season to help the Stars reach the Western Conference finals.

"Our goaltending has been poor," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "Our top players are not playing with the commitment you need to win hockey games."

In the other net, it appears Andrew Raycroft will get his second straight start for Colorado (1-3-0) in place of the struggling Peter Budaj.

Budaj had lost all three starts he'd made, posting a 4.38 GAA, before Avalanche coach Tony Granato opted to give Raycroft his first start in a Colorado uniform on Thursday. The move paid off as the Avalanche came away with their first win, 5-2 over Philadelphia.

Raycroft responded with 16 saves, and the only goals he allowed came in the second period on a penalty shot and a 5-on-3 power play.

"You feel that. You don't want to go 0-4," said Raycroft, the 2004 Calder Trophy winner. "That's the bottom of the line, you don't want to dig to big a hole early in the year."

Brett Clark and Marek Svatos gave Raycroft a 2-0 first-period lead as the Avalanche outshot the Flyers 17-2 in the first 20 minutes. Milan Hejduk added his team-leading third goal and Joe Sakic posted his first three-assist game since April 3, 2007, at Calgary.

"I don't know if it's pressure, but you knew you had to have this game," said Sakic, who has 21 goals and 31 assists in 60 career regular-season games against Dallas. "We've played good hockey, we just weren't rewarded. We knew if we kept playing the same way we would get rewarded."

Mike Modano and Stephane Robidas each has four points to lead a Stars club that has converted just 9.5 percent (2-of-21) on the power play.

Colorado is among the league leaders on the power play this season (6-of-25) after ranking 28th in the NHL last year at 14.6 percent.

Saturday is the first of four regular-season matchups between the Avs and the Stars. These rivals, who met in the 1999 and 2000 Western Conference finals, next meet on Dec. 5 in Dallas.

Colorado has lost all four games it's played in Dallas since ending the Stars' 2005-06 season there with a win in Game 5 of a first-round playoff series.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '09DAL 3 at COL 2 - SOM. Ribeiro
Feb 05 '09DAL 2 at COL 3C. McLeod
Dec 05 '08COL 1 at DAL 2 - SOM. Modano
Oct 18 '08COL 5 at DAL 4T. Arnason
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Sakic5178+0000
P. Stastny5178+0610
M. Hejduk5516+1031
W. Wolski5145-1600
R. Smyth5224-2220
J. Liles5134+0010
C. McLeod5202+21000
J. Leopold5112+0200
D. Tucker5112-1400
M. Svatos4112+1210
C. McCormick3112+21400
R. Salei5022+2400
T. Arnason5101+1201
B. Clark5101+0200
B. Guite3101+0200
I. Laperriere5011+01600
S. Hannan5011+0200
D. Jones5011-3000
A. Foote5000-2400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Raycroft22-0-06483.00.875
P. Budaj30-3-013744.38.824
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Modano5235+2000
B. Richards5235+0000
S. Robidas5145+0810
F. Brunnstrom3404-1011
B. Morrow5134-41610
M. Ribeiro5044-6400
J. Neal5213+0800
T. Daley5213-2800
L. Eriksson5112-1000
B. Crombeen5022+11200
S. Avery5022-12700
K. Barch5101+0500
J. Lundqvist5011+2200
P. Boucher5011+1200
N. Grossmann5011+1700
M. Niskanen5011-4000
T. Petersen4011+3200
S. Ott3011-21100
M. Fistric4000-2200
D. Janik1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Turco51-3-1221184.70.814
T. Stephan10-0-0153.00.800