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Hintz out for Stars against Avalanche with lower-body injury

Dallas could be without its leading goal scorer until next week's trip to Calgary

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Stars (7-8-1) vs. Avalanche (8-4-2)

7:30 p.m., American Airlines Center

TV: FOX Sports Southwest; ESPN+

Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM


DALLAS -- Just when you think everything is flowing along perfectly for the Stars, they get an injury to their hottest player.

Roope Hintz, who leads the Stars with nine goals among 11 points, will miss tonight's game against Colorado with a lower body injury. He also is doubtful for Sunday's game at Winnipeg, coach Jim Montgomery said.

Hintz played 14:44 in 29 shifts and had an assist Saturday in a 4-1 win over Montreal, and it was unclear where he might have been injured. More importantly, he played 14:08 and had two goals Friday in a 2-1 win at Colorado. Missing a player who just had a huge game against a divisional rival is a pretty big deal.

With Hintz out, Montgomery will shuffle his lines in order to keep balance. Denis Gurianov will move up and play with Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov, while Jamie Benn will move down to play with Jason Dickinson and Joe Pavelski, and Justin Dowling will jump into Dickinson's spot and center Mattias Janmark and Corey Perry.

That means the only line that remain the same from Saturday's 4-1 win over Montreal is the line of Andrew Cogliano-Radek Faksa-Blake Comeau.

Video: COL@DAL Montgomery previews meeting with Avalanche

"We're not going to replace his speed and power, but we'll move Dickie into the slot where he was playing, and we still feel we have four balanced lines," Montgomery said of adjusting to the loss of Hintz.

The Stars are 6-1-0 in their past seven and would love to keep the positive momentum going. They started the year 1-7-1 and now have a chance to get back to .500 tonight.

"When you're a good team and you're playing well, you've got to turn these two and three game winning streaks into four and five," said Pavelski. "Last one got stopped at three, and we have an opportunity to turn one into four tonight. It would be a big game as far us getting back to .500 and taking a step that way."

Colorado is in an 0-3-1 slump and should be motivated to try to stop that skid. Both teams played well Friday, so Montgomery said he expects a big test tonight.

"We thought as a staff that was the best team we've played when we played Friday in Colorado," he said. "I mean, obviously they're missing (Mikko) Rantanen and (Gabriel) Landeskog, but that's still a team that comes after you at both ends of the ice."

What to watch

A fun task tonight might be to keep an eye on Miro Heiskanen.

It's always fun to watch the 20-year-old defenseman, but he was especially strong in going head-to-head with Nathan MacKinnon Friday in Colorado. MacKinnon had 12 shots on goal and scored, but Heiskanen acquitted himself well in the match-up and continues to show just how good he is defensively.

The other fun part of the night will be Heiskanen and Cale Makar being on the ice together. Heiskanen was taken third overall in the 2017 entry draft and Makar fourth, and they'll probably get compared throughout their careers. Makar has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) and is even in 14 games this season. He is averaging 18:57 a game. Heiskanen has nine points (four goals, five assists) and is plus-7 in 16 games. He is averaging 24:47 in time on ice.


Lineup updates

Ben Bishop is in goal. He is 4-5-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .922 save percentage. He is coming off a 35-save performance in a 4-1 win over Montreal Saturday. He is 6-7-0 in his career against Colorado with a 2.30 GAA and .918 save percentage. Anton Khudobin took the win over the Avalanche on Friday, stopping 38 of 39 shots.

With Hintz out, the Stars will be shuffling their lines. Montgomery said a return for Hintz in Winnipeg on Sunday might be doubtful, but Calgary Wednesday is probable.

Video: COL@DAL: Pavelski on keys to extending hot streak

Justin Dowling returns to the lineup after sitting out three games.

Andrej Sekera, who has missed three games with overall soreness after a collision with the wall against Pittsburgh, is still out. Joel Hanley will get his fourth game in a row.


By the numbers

That's Dallas' goals per game, which still ranks 30th in the NHL. However, the Stars have tallied 12 goals in their past three games, pushing up their scoring average and creating confidence among the players. The Avalanche sits eighth in scoring at 3.43 goals per game, but has tallied just one goal in the past two games.



Tyler Seguin has scored 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists) in 28 career games against Colorado. Nazem Kadri, who likely will get plenty of time on ice against Seguin, has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 14 career games against the Stars.



Nathan MacKinnon had 12 shots on goals against the Stars Friday in a 2-1 loss in Colorado. That tied the single-game franchise record which was set by Gabriel Landeskog in January against Calgary. It's the most shot by one player in an NHL game this year.


He said it

"It felt good. I know how Comeau is going to play. He plays in straight lines and he plays pretty predictable, so I think you know when there's another winger out there doing the same thing that you are, it makes it easier. I don't want to get too far ahead after just one game, but it felt good. It felt good to be out there together."

-- Stars winger Andrew Cogliano on getting Blake Comeau back from a knee injury and putting together the line of himself and Comeau with Radek Faksa


Stars projected lineup

Denis Gurianov - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Jamie Benn - Jason Dickinson-Joe Pavelski

Mattias Janmark - Justin Dowling - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen

Joel Hanley - Taylor Fedun

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: None

Injuries: C Roope Hintz (lower body), D Andrej Sekera (overall soreness), D Roman Polak (sternum), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), C Martin Hanzal (back)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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