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Preview: Avalanche at Stars

Matt Duchene remains out for Colorado; Cody Eakin could make season debut for Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

AVALANCHE (7-8-0) at STARS (6-6-5)

8:30 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

Avalanche team scope

Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog each will not play against the Dallas Stars. Duchene practiced at the morning skate but will miss his third straight game after he sustained a head injury against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. "After yesterday's practice, he still felt like he wasn't ready to go," coach Jared Bednar said. "He's going to take another day or two." Landeskog has a lower-body injury and didn't travel to Dallas but he may join the team later on the road trip. Rookie A.J. Greer was recently recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League and will play his second NHL game; he made his debut on Nov. 13. "My game's success attributes a lot to confidence," Greer said. "Being able to make the plays I usually make, whether it's at this level or the AHL level. Just keep doing the simple things that makes me A.J. Greer." Colorado has won 12 of the past 15 games against Dallas and is 5-2-0 in the past seven games at American Airlines Center. Goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has won his past 11 starts against the Stars, will start.

 

Stars team scope

Center Cody Eakin could make his season debut Thursday. Eakin injured his knee on the first day of training camp and had surgery in September but was one of 14 players to take part in the optional morning skate. "I'm feeling pretty good, getting back to where I want to be," Eakin said. "I'm trying to get back to where I want to be skating wise. … there is no sense rushing it back in if you aren't ready." Antoine Roussel has nine points during a current NHL-best seven game point streak. The left wing has played his past four games with Tyler Seguin. "I think his skill has gotten a lot better, not that it was bad before, but just the way he has grasped his game," Seguin said. "Obviously he's an agitator, but he's found a way to get under people's skin while putting the puck in the back of the net. So it's been a good mix." Seguin is tied for third in the NHL with 20 points and tied for second with 13 assists. Kari Lehtonen likely will start in goal.

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Rene Bourque -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joe Colborne

A.J. Greer -- Carl Soderberg -- Mikko Rantanen

Blake Comeau -- John Mitchell -- Jarome Iginla

Andreas Martinsen -- Mikhail Grigorenko -- Cody McLeod

Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Johnson

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin -- Patrick Wiercioch

Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Eric Gelinas

Injured: Matt Duchene (head) Gabriel Landeskog (lower body)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Radek Faksa -- Lauri Korpikoski

Antoine Roussel -- Tyler Seguin -- Patrick Eaves

Gemel Smith -- Cody Eakin -- Jason Spezza

Curtis McKenzie -- Adam Cracknell -- Brett Ritchie

Dan Hamhuis -- John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya -- Stephen Johns

Patrik Nemeth -- Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Esa Lindell, Jamie Oleksiak, Devin Shore

Injured: Patrick Sharp (concussion), Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (groin), Jiri Hudler (illness)

 

Status report

Sharp (concussion) skated, but isn't ready to return. ... Colorado will use the same defense pairings from a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

 

Who's hot

Roussel, Seguin, and Eaves have combined for 17 points since they were put on the same line on Nov. 10. ... Varlamov has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his past three games. ...Bourque has four goals in his past four games.

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