The Colorado Avalanche will host the Central-Division rival Dallas Stars in a quick, one-game homestand on Wednesday at Pepsi Center. Colorado is in a stretch where it will play six of its next seven contests at home.
It is the third of five meetings between the two clubs and the second of three that will be played in Denver during the season series.
Colorado is 41-31-17 all-time against the Stars (since 1995-96), including a 23-11-10 record at home. The Avalanche has won nine of the last 11 meetings between the teams at Pepsi Center.
Last Time Out
The Avalanche defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime at the new Little Caesars Arena on Sunday. Erik Johnson tied the game at one in the last minute of the first period before Detroit scored two unanswered goals. Nail Yakupov tallied a power-play goal to make the score 3-2 before Colorado pulled goaltender Jonathan Bernier for the extra skater. Carl Soderberg tied the game at 19:14 of the third period, and Nathan MacKinnon found the back of the net halfway through the extra frame to give the Avs the win. Bernier made 21 saves in the victory.
The Montreal Canadiens scored the first goal of the contest midway through the first period, but Dallas scored twice in less than a minute at the end of the second period. Tyler Seguin secured the win for the Stars with an empty-net goal for a final score of 3-1 on Tuesday. Devin Shore and Seguin each recorded a goal and an assist in the game. Netminder Ben Bishop was in the crease for the Stars and made 29 saves in the outing.
Last Time They Met
Matt Nieto scored his first career NHL hat trick as he led the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center on Oct. 24. Defenseman Mark Barberio skated in his 200th NHL game and registered his first game-winning tally with 10 seconds left in the second period. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, while Blake Comeau had three helpers. Dallas' Jamie Benn recorded a goal and two assists, and Tyler Seguin assisted on the Stars' first two goals. Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves in the contest.
What to Watch
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau Line
During the last outing between the two clubs, Matt Nieto scored three times while Blake Comeau recorded three assists and center Carl Soderberg added two helpers. The line combined for eight points (three goals, five assists), and it was the first contest that Soderberg centered a line with Comeau and Nieto. The combination has remained intact since that Oct. 24 win, except for two games that Soderberg missed for the birth of his third child.
Dallas is playing a back-to-back and traveled to Colorado after defeating the Canadiens on Tuesday. It is the clubs fourth of 12 two-games-in-two-days sets this campaign. The Stars have a 1-2-1 record in the second game of back-to-backs so far this year.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson
Johnson recorded his first goal of the season against Detroit on Sunday and logged a career-high 30:48 of ice time. He ranks fifth in the league in average ice time (26:43) and first in shifts per game (32.42). The rear guard has 13 career points (five goals, eight assists) in 36 games against Dallas during his 10 seasons in the league.
Dallas: Left Wing Jamie Benn
Through 21 games played this campaign, Stars forward Jamie Benn has registered 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists). He did not find the scoresheet in Dallas' last outing but has five points (three goals, two assists) in his last five games. Benn found the back of the net when the Stars and Avs met on Oct. 14 at Dallas and Oct. 24 at Colorado.
After practice on Tuesday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar announced Jonathan Bernier will be in net for Colorado against the Stars.
The contest between the Avalanche and the Stars is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT on Wednesday and tickets are still available. The game will be televised on Altitude and the radio broadcast can be heard on FM 92.5 The Wolf or online at Colorado Avalanche.com