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Stars at Avalanche preview

Klingberg back in Stars lineup; Colorado 3-6-2 in past 11 games

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

STARS (26-15-4) at AVALANCHE (25-15-5)

9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, FS-SW+, NHL.TV

 

The Game

John Klingberg will return for the Dallas Stars when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

The defenseman will be paired with Esa Lindell after missing the past four games with a lower-body injury sustained during the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas on Jan. 1. Klingberg has 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 34 games while averaging 22:40 of ice time.

Goalie Ben Bishop will start for the Stars, who are 6-1-0 in their past seven games after going 2-3-1 in their previous six. They are 3-0-0 against Colorado this season.

Goalie Philipp Grubauer will start for the Avalanche, who are winless in their past three games (0-2-1) and 3-6-2 in their past 11 after going 9-1-1 in their previous 11. They are 1-4-1 in their past six at home.

 

Players to watch

Stars center Roope Hintz has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past six games.

 

They said it

"This is a very, very important game. We want to look at it like a playoff game. It's a statement game, a playoff-type game." -- Stars coach Rick Bowness

"This is a big one for sure. We have to find a way to get two points. I have no doubt in my mind that we're going to turn it around. It just takes a commitment from all the guys to do it the right way." -- Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Denis Gurianov -- Roope Hintz -- Joe Pavelski

Andrew Cogliano -- Jason Dickinson -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Justin Dowling -- Joel Kiviranta

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak -- Miro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera -- Roman Polak

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Taylor Fedun

Injured: Radek Faksa (upper body), Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns (head)

Suspended: Corey Perry

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Andre Burakovsky -- Nazem Kadri -- Valeri Nichushkin

Matt Nieto -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Calvert

Vladislav Kamenev -- J.T. Compher -- Tyson Jost

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Nikita Zadorov

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Mark Barberio

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (concussion protocol), Colin Wilson (lower body)

 

Status report

Perry will complete his five-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety after the forward elbowed Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis on Jan. 1. … Donskoi, who has been playing right wing on the top line, skated for the third straight day and might be cleared to take part in a full contact practice Wednesday. He was injured against the New York Rangers on Jan. 7.

 

Stat pack

Lindell has eight assists in his past six games. … Benn needs one assist to tie Brian Bellows (380) for fourth place in Dallas/Minnesota North Stars history. … Girard has 11 assists in his past six games.

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