The Colorado Avalanche heads to Texas to face the Dallas Stars on Saturday in the second half of a division-rival, back-to-back set. Colorado fell 6-4 to the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday.
The Avs trailed 2-0 early versus the Wild, but Matt Calvert and Gabriel Landeskog each tallied in the final two minutes of the opening frame to tie the contest going into the second period. Calvert added his second tally of the night later on and Nathan MacKinnon also scored in the game for Colorado, but Minnesota rallied with three markers in the third period to pick up the win.
Dallas is looking for a win after losing 5-1 to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. The Flames scored four unanswered goals to earn the victory after the Stars' Denis Gurianov tied the game in the first period.
The matchup against the Avalanche (23-12-3) will be the third of a four-game season series between the two teams, with the Stars currently leading 2-0-0.
Avalanche at Dallas Stars
American Airlines Center | Dallas, Texas
Avs right wing Valeri Nichushkin was picked in the first round (No. 10 overall) of the 2013 draft by the Dallas Stars and played four seasons with the franchise… Stars right wing Blake Comeau played for Colorado from 2015-2018… Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop was born in Denver.
The Avalanche franchise owns a 69-53-21 all-time record against the Stars, including a 20-22-7 mark as the visiting team since moving to Denver in 1995. The Avs have fallen to the Stars twice this season, 2-1 on Nov. 1 at home and 4-1 on Nov. 5 on the road. Both games came during the five-game slide after the Avs' first regulation home loss of the year on Oct. 26.
Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher are the only two Colorado players to find the back of the net this season against Dallas after the two meetings. Roope Hintz and Radek Faksa have both scored twice against the Avs, while Jason Dickinson and Corey Perry have also tallied for the Stars.
Philipp Grubauer is expected to start in goal after Pavel Francouz received the start against the Minnesota Wild… Cale Makar returned to Colorado's lineup on Friday after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.
Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery.
SCOUTING THE STARS
Dallas is 20-14-4 this season and has earned 44 points, placing the team fourth in the Central Division and in the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference standings. The Stars are 5-6-2 in their last 13 games, playing seven of them on their home ice (3-3-1).
The Stars have killed 82.3 percent of their penalties this season to tie for 11th in the league and have won the fifth-most faceoffs in the NHL at 51.9 percent.
Goaltender Ben Bishop ranks 10th in both his goals-against average (2.36) and save percentage (.924).
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin is the current points leader for the Stars after registering 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) so far this season. He ranks second on the team in faceoffs, winning 58.1 percent his draws. He has taken a team-leading 132 shots--which also ranks him 13th in the league--and is registering a team-high 0.79 points per game.
Seguin is in his 10th NHL season and his seventh with the Stars after being traded to Dallas from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2013-14 campaign. The right wing was the Bruins' first round pick (No. 2 overall) in the 2010 draft. Seguin has notched 615 points (272 goals, 343 assists) in his 710 career games, and he has registered 190 power-play points (76 goals,114 assists) in that time.
Ian Cole is on three-game assist and point streak. Cole has registered an assist in each of his last three outings going back to Dec. 21 and has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five games.
Colorado is one of only four teams in the league to have two goaltenders with 10 or more wins, as both Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz have each recorded 10 victories this season. The Washington Capitals, New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins are the other clubs with multiple netminders posting 10 or more wins.
The Avs have the second-most regulation wins in the league, with 20 of their 23 total victories coming in 60 minutes. Colorado remains the only team in the NHL that has yet to participate in a shootout.
Nathan MacKinnon ranks second in the league with 36 even strength points… MacKinnon also has the third-most points per game at 1.47… The Avs lead the league with 3.63 goals per game… Colorado is 3-3-0 on the second half of back-to-back series this season… The Avs will return to the Pepsi Center on Tuesday for a New Year's Eve matchup against the Winnipeg Jets… Colorado is in a stretch where it is playing four straight games against division opponents.