The Colorado Avalanche takes on the Dallas Stars on Saturday at 4 p.m. MT at American Airlines Center to conclude the 2019-20 preseason.
Colorado is coming off a 4-1 victory at the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. Matt Calvert had a goal and assist in the win while Vladislav Kamenev, Logan O'Connor and Jayson Megna also scored. The Stars last played on Thursday, a game they lost against the Minnesota Wild in Dallas.
Saturday's contest is the second time this preseason that the Avs (2-3-0) and Stars (3-3-0) will meet in an exhibition game. Colorado forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tallied 2:31 into the first period but the team fell 2-1 to Dallas after the Stars got goals from Scottie Upshall and Michael Mersch in the third period on Sept. 19 at Pepsi Center.
Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
American Airlines Center | Dallas, Texas
Valeri Nichushkin was drafted at No. 10 overall by Dallas in 2013 and played four seasons with the Stars… Kevin Connauton spent parts of two seasons with the Stars from 2013-2015… Blake Comeau played for Colorado from 2015-2018... Dallas' Jason Dickinson is the brother of Avs prospect Josh Dicksinson… Jim Montgomery was the head coach at the University of Denver... Stars' goaltender Ben Bishop was born in Denver.
Colorado fell 2-1 to Dallas in the Avs second game of the 2019 preseason on Sept. 19. The Avalanche has played exhibition contests against the Stars in each of the previous three campaigns. The clubs split their exhibition games last year with each team earning its victory on the road.
The Central Division rivals met four times during the 2018-19 regular season with the Avs finishing 3-1-0 against the Stars.
The Avalanche reassigned eight players on Thursday morning, reducing its preseason roster to 29 players. After practice on Friday, head coach Jared Bednar noted that Colin Wilson and Erik Johnson will play their first exhibition games of the year at Dallas after recovering from offseason shoulder surgeries during training camp.
Bednar also said he will utilize a roster that is a mix of veterans and players who are still making their case to be in the opening-night lineup.
"We got a little bit of a mix going with our lineup again tomorrow, I am not going to go into names just yet," said Bednar. "But, we have some of our veteran guys, our top guys are going to be playing, and then we've got some other guys sprinkled in that we want to see a little bit more of, especially because we are expecting a full or veteran lineup when it comes to Dallas, who is one of the top teams in our division in my opinion if you look at that team.
"We want to see some of our guys who are battling for spots here play in this game and see how they do against a type of lineup they are going to see come regular season."
Defenseman Ian Cole, who had dual hip surgery this past summer and has been undergoing rehab, continued to make progress and skated with the team on Friday for the first time this year non-contact. Also participating in the session was forward Shane Bowers after he did not practice on Thursday with a minor injury.
Valeri Nichushkin (foot)
Colorado finishes its six-game preseason slate at Dallas… The Avalanche opens the regular season on Oct. 3 as it hosts the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center.