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Stars face key divisional game at Colorado to cap back-to-back

Dallas aims to get on track both on the road and within the Central Division

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

Wednesday, November 22
8 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

 

About the Stars

The Stars (11-9-1) defeated Montreal, 3-1, at American Airlines Center Tuesday. The Stars fell behind 1-0, but Devin Shore and Jason Spezza scored 59 seconds apart late in the second period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead. Tyler Seguin sealed the win with an empty-net goal, and Ben Bishop stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Stars improved to 8-2-0 at home.

"I think that first goal (by Montreal) was kind of a wakeup call," said Bishop. "Those last 10 minutes of the second period, we really took it to them and had a couple of really good shifts. We had that momentum going into the third. With back-to-back games, it's good to get those first two points."

The Stars will now head out on the road to take on Colorado. The Stars have not fared well on the road where they have lost four straight (0-3-1) and are 3-7-1 on the season. And it's a Central Divison foe. The Stars are 1-5-0 against Central Division teams.

"Right now, it's a four-point game tomorrow, it's a division game. I don't look at it road or home, we've got to win division games if we want to be a playoff team," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "We've got a rested opponent. An opponent who's been sitting home for the last four days and that's going to be a significant challenge for us. We're going to have to go in there and play well. We played very well our last time in there, and we're going to have to follow it up with a similar effort."

Bishop, who has stopped 47 of 48 shots in his last two games, will get the start in goal.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (personal), C Martin Hanzal (hand), and D Marc Methot (knee) are out.

 

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (10-8-1) won 4-3 in overtime at Detroit Sunday. Carl Soderberg tied the game with 46 seconds left in regulation for the Avalanche, who overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period, and Nathan MacKinnon won it 2:55 into the extra period.

"We had great energy, and we were able to overcome a couple early mistakes," Colorado coach Jared Bednar told media. "I'm very happy with this one."

Sunday's win was just the second in the past six games (2-4-0) for the Avalanche.

Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal due to Semyon Varlamov being ill. Varlamov is expected to be the backup.

The Avalanche play six of their next seven games at home.

Injuries: D Anton Lindholm (jaw) is day to day. D Patrik Nemeth (lower body) and C Vladislav Kamenev (arm) are on injured reserve.

 

Season Series
  • This is the third of five meetings between the Stars and Avalanche.

  • Both teams are 1-1-0 in the season series.

  • Oct. 14, at Dallas: Stars 3, Avalanche 1

  • Oct. 24, at Colorado: Avalanche 5, Stars 3

 

Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 1-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

  • The Stars are 3-7-1 on the road.

  • Colorado is 6-1-1 at home.

  • The Stars are 1-5-0 vs. the Central Division.

  • The Avalanche are 2-4-0 vs. the Central Division.

  • Colorado is averaging 4.63 goals per game at home, tops in the NHL.

  • The Stars are allowing 3.91 goals per game on the road, 27th in the NHL.

  • Colorado ranks third in the NHL on the power play at home at 30.3 percent.

  • The Stars rank 23rd in penalty killing on the road at 75.7 percent.

  • The Stars rank second in faceoff percentage at 53.4

  • The Avalanche rank 31st in faceoff percentage at 42.6.

  • Jamie Benn leads the Stars in scoring with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists).

  • Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche in scoring with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists). 

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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