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Preview: Stars look to get on track against streaking Avalanche

Colorado is off to a hot start, entering Saturday as winners of three straight

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Saturday, October 14
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

 

About the Stars

The Stars (1-3-0) are coming off a 4-1 loss at Nashville Thursday. The Stars led 1-0 after the first period, but the Predators scored two goals early in the second to take the lead and held off the Stars the rest of the way.

"I thought the first period we played as good a period as we've played all year. They dialed it up in the second for about seven or eight minutes, and we didn't have an answer," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "They scored the two, and then you're pressing the rest of the game."

The Stars lone goal came on the power play. They have scored just three goals during five-on-five play through the first four games. Hitchcock said the Stars need more extended zone time.

"What I think we need to work on his staying on the hunt longer. Those are the chances we are not getting," Hitchcock said. "But the hunt plays where you check the puck back again and again, we need to be better in that area. Those are the garbage goals because the other team is flailing out of position."

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who has missed the past two games with a sore groin, practiced Friday. He will be a gameday decision.

Ben Bishop is expected to start in goal for the Stars.

Injuries: D Dan Hamhuis (groin) is questionable.

 

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (4-1-0) won their third straight game, defeating the Anaheim Ducks, 3-1, Friday night at Pepsi Center. Tyson Barrie's goal on the power play with 5:39 remaining snapped a 2-2 tie as the Avalanche wrapped up a 2-0-0 homestand. Colorado outshot the Ducks 39-18 in the game and scored on two of eight power play chances.

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon took a stick to the eye in the first period of Friday's game and did not return. MacKinnon could play Saturday in Dallas.

"It looks like he is going to be okay," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "He had some vision problems immediately after but things have settled down a little. It looks like he should be good to go for tomorrow."

Avalanche rookie forward Tyson Jost missed Friday's game with a bone bruise. He is not expected to play Saturday.

Jonathan Bernier played in goal Friday for the Avalanche so Semyon Varlamov is the likely starter in goal on Saturday.

Saturday's game is the first of two straight on the road for the Avalanche who also play at Nashville on Tuesday.

Injuries: F Nathan MacKinnon (eye) is probable. F Tyson Jost (knee) is doubtful.

 

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

  • The Stars were 4-1-0 (8 points) against Colorado last season.

  • The Avalanche were 1-3-1 (3 points) against Dallas last season.

  • The Stars are 5-2-3 at home against the Avalanche the past four seasons.

 

Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 1-1-0 at home this season.

  • The Avalanche are 2-1-0 on the road.

  • The Stars are 0-2-0 vs. the Central Division.

  • Saturday will be Colorado's first game within the Central Division.

  • The Stars have outshot their opponents 102-77 during five-on-five play but have been outscored 7-3.

  • The Stars have scored on the power play in all four games this season and are 4-12 (33.3 percent) on the season.

  • The Avalanche are 4-25 (16.0 percent) on the power play.

  • The Stars have allowed a power play goal in the past three games and are 14-17 (82.4 percent) on the season.

  • The Avalanche are 14-20 (70.0 percent) on the penalty kill.

  • Stars defenseman John Klingberg is on a four-game points streak to open the season (two goals, three assists).

  • Forward Sven Andrighetto leads Colorado in scoring with six points (three goals, three 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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