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Division Rivalry: Dallas Stars

The Avs and Stars have met four times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

by Zach Shapiro / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars have competed since the franchises' days as the Quebec Nordiques and Minnesota North Stars, but the rivalry intensified once the teams relocated in the 1990s and soon battled for championships. The Avalanche/Nordiques lead the all-time series 69-51-21, including posting a 46-33-17 mark since moving to Denver. 

Historically Speaking

Since the 1995-96 campaign, the franchises have met four times in the postseason, with hall of famers like Joe Sakic and Mike Modano, and goaltenders Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour, living in hockey lore, with Stanley Cup titles attesting to their greatness.

The first two playoff series came in the Western Conference Finals in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000, both times in Dallas with the Stars defeating the Avs in seven games. The second-consecutive series loss to the Stars served to light a fire under the Avalanche and inspire the team.

Colorado went 2-0-1-1 against the Stars the following regular season in 2000-01 and earned the Presidents' Trophy with a 52-16-10-4 record (118 points) before winning its second Stanley Cup championship. Three years later, the Avalanche and Stars met again in the first round of the playoffs. Colorado dismissed its foe in five games, as goaltender David Aebischer held the Stars to two goals or fewer in all four wins. Then in 2006, the Avs prevailed again over the Stars, also in five games, as Sakic recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in the series victory.

As of Late

While there hasn't been a playoff rematch since 2006, the annual regular-season series has seen intense contests. Since the NHL realigned from a six to a four-division format for the 2013-14 campaign, Colorado is 18-8-2 against the Stars, including an 11-2-1 mark at home. The Avs are 6-3-1 in their last 10 against the Stars, scoring at least three goals in all six wins.

Last season, the Avs won the first two meetings in the final minutes at Pepsi Center. Mikko Rantanen lifted Colorado to a 3-2 win with a goal at 18:04 in the third period on Nov. 24, and three weeks later Gabriel Landeskog found the back of the net with just over three minutes left for the decisive goal in an eventual 6-4 win.

The Avs were shutout 4-0 at Dallas on March 7 but closed the series with a 3-1 win on March 21 behind goaltender Philipp Grubauer's career-high 44-save performance. Nathan MacKinnon led Colorado with six points (two goals, four assists) against the Stars in the season series.

Season Series

Nov. 1 @ Colorado
Nov. 5 @ Dallas
Dec. 28 @ Dallas
Jan. 14 @ Colorado

Past Avs

Since the Avalanche moved to Denver in 1995-96, Joe Sakic has scored the most points for the team against the Stars, with 41 (17 goals, 24 assists) in 48 regular-season outings. Sakic also recorded 21 playoff points (nine goals, 12 assists) against Dallas in 24 games--the second most any player has registered against the Stars in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Right after him is Peter Forsberg, whose 20 playoff points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 19 games, all with Colorado, rank third all-time. Patrick Roy's 2.13 goals-against average in 31 regular-season games is the second-best among goaltenders who have played at least 20 games against Dallas (Martin Brodeur).

Recent Avs

Nathan MacKinnon has 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 27 career games against Dallas, the most he's recorded against any single opponent. Gabriel Landeskog also has a career-high 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists in 29 games) against Dallas. Defenseman Erik Johnson has seven goals against the Stars, tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the most goals he's tallied against any one team. 

The Stars

Mike Modano has 46 points against the Avalanche in 53 career games (20 goals, 26 assists). His 21 playoff points (six goals, 15 assists) in 24 games against Colorado are the third-most any player has registered against the Avs in the playoffs. Defenseman Sergei Zubov, another player who helped define the rivalry in the 90s, recorded 37 points in 42 career regular-season games against the Avs (five goals, 32 assists). With 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 24 playoff games, Zubov also established himself as a force against Colorado in the postseason. Recently, Dallas captain Jamie Benn has been a worthy adversary, recording 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 43 games, the most he's tallied against any single opponent. Tyler Seguin also has 34 career points (16 goals, 18 assists) and 11 multi-point outings in 25 games against Colorado as a member of the Stars; third-most against any team for him.

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