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Avalanche go for sweep in home-and-home vs. Stars

by Brian Compton

AVALANCHE (22-9-1) at STARS (15-12-5)


Last 10: Colorado 5-4-1; Dallas 4-3-3

Season series: This is the fourth of five games between the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars and the conclusion of a home-and-home series. Colorado cruised to a 6-2 victory at Pepsi Center on Monday night behind a four-point performance from forward Paul Stastny.

Big story: Monday was a big night for Stastny, who had gone nine straight games without a point before breaking through in the second period, when he scored twice and added an assist. Stastny is hoping to represent the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I always put pressure on myself," he said. "If anything, I was more frustrated, whether I showed it or not. No one will see it, but inside it's frustrating. That's how it is. It's a long season, and you just have to keep battling through it. Not everything is going to go your way. Some games you don't play well and you get points; some games you play well and you deserve something and you don't get anything."

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado had been experiencing trouble generating offense in recent games, but things changed drastically Monday. The Avalanche fired a season-high 48 shots on goal and scored four times in the second period. Colorado totaled 12 goals in its previous six games and was held to one goal in three of them.

"The door opened for us," said PA Parenteau, who tied his career high for assists with three. "It's good for our confidence, good for everyone. It was a big team win and nice to get the offense going like that. We were on the puck the last few games and couldn't get it done. The confidence was low for a few guys who couldn't get on the board. It's tough on you. You're playing decent hockey and you're not getting rewarded. Tonight, a lot of guys did, and it's fun to see."

Stars: The power play has been a problem of late for Dallas. The Stars went 0-for-5 with the man advantage Monday and have converted twice in the past 23 opportunities. Although it managed to escape the first period in a 1-1 tie, Dallas was outshot 21-10 in the opening 20 minutes.

"That was pretty much us laying an egg," forward Jamie Benn said. "They came out strong and jumped all over us. They're a good team and they've got four pretty good lines. They just keep coming at you, and we couldn't find a way to stop it."

Who's hot: Avalanche forward Maxime Talbot has two goals and two assists in the past six games, and Matt Duchene has five points in the past three (two goals, three assists). … Stars forward Tyler Seguin has six points (three goals, three assists) in the past two games.

Injury report: Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) is expected to return Tuesday. Forward Alex Tanguay (hip/knee) is out. … Stars forward Vernon Fiddler (upper body) has missed the past four games. Defenseman Aaron Rome suffered a lower-body injury Monday and will not play. Defensemen Stephane Robidas (leg) and Trevor Daley (ankle) are on injured reserve.

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