The Colorado Avalanche, now finished with the home portion of its 2016-17 slate, hit the road for its final road trip of the campaign, a two-game swing that begins in Dallas on Saturday night.
It's the first of a back-to-back set for the Avs, who wrap up the season at St. Louis on Sunday. Colorado is 2-8-0 in the first game of a back-to-back this year and 4-6-0 in the second. Saturday's contest is the regular-season finale for the Stars, who also have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Avalanche is 1-3-0 against Dallas this season, the win coming on Opening Night at Pepsi Center. Colorado has a 40-30-16 overall record against the Stars and is 18-19-6 all-time on the road.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche fell to the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in its last home contest of the 2016-17 season on Thursday night. Tyson Jost potted his first NHL goal, and Sven Andrighetto skated in his 100th NHL contest, finishing with an assist to give him nine points in his last 10 outings. Colorado twice rallied from two-goal deficits and appeared to score the equalizer with time winding down in regulation, but the goal was overturned for goaltender interference.
Dallas also played on Thursday, dropping a 7-3 decision to the Nashville Predators at home. The Stars trailed 4-0 after the opening period, and despite rattling off three straight tallies in the middle stanza, couldn't overcome the early deficit. Radek Faksa finished with a goal and an assist while Jason Dickinson and Jason Spezza also found the back of the net for Dallas. The Stars used both their goaltenders for the 14th time this season, as Antti Niemi started the contest but was pulled 13 minutes in after allowing two goals on eight shots.
Last Time They Met
Dallas and Colorado last met on Dec. 29 at American Airlines Center, where the Stars won 4-2. The home team outshot the Avs 34-19, and both squads were scoreless on a combined 10 power-play opportunities. Matt Duchene finished with a goal and an assist, while Tyson Barrie also turned in a two-point night, contributing two helpers. Tyler Seguin paced Dallas with two goals and an assist, and Jamie Benn added three helpers.
Dallas was plagued by injury in their game against Nashville Thursday. With Brett Ritchie out with a lower-body injury, the Stars started the game with 11 forwards and then lost Adam Cracknell and Justin Dowling during the game. Cracknell later returned, but Dowling remained off the ice with an upper-body ailment. Both Dowling and Ritche are expected to miss Saturday's contest.
Erik Johnson Faces Dallas
Saturday's game will be the first time Erik Johnson faces Dallas since suffering a broken fibula against the Stars on Dec. 3 at Pepsi Center. Johnson blocked a Tyler Seguin shot, which caused the injury and forced the defenseman to miss 36 games.
Success Against the Stars
Barrie and Duchene have had success against the Stars throughout their careers. Barrie has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 16 career games against Dallas, his second-highest total against a single opponent in his career. Duchene has notched 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 31 career contests against the Stars.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Left wing Gabriel Landeskog
Landeskog enters Saturday's game looking to extend his point streak to four games. He has three points (two goals, one assist) in as many contests, including the secondary helper on Tyson Jost's goal on Thursday. Landeskog has accumulated 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 21 career games against the Stars, tied for his highest total against a single opponent.
Dallas: Center Tyler Seguin
Seguin has nine points (five goals, four assists) in four games against the Avalanche this season, his highest total against a single opponent in 2016-17 and the most by a single player in the league against the Avs this campaign.
Jeremy Smith is slated to get the start in net against the Stars, his eighth career start and first against Dallas. Smith is 1-8-0 this season.
Saturday night's game in Dallas begins at 6 p.m. MT and can be watched live on Altitude TV. The radio broadcast is available on Altitude Sports Radio AM950 or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.