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StarPoints For 2/5 vs Colorado

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars (24-18-7) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (24-26-1)
8:00PM - Pepsi Center
Television - FS Southwest
Radio-News/Talk 820 WBAP

1.)  Thursday’s match-up marks the third of four meetings between the Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche and the first in Colorado’s Pepsi Center. The first meeting took place in the second week of the season and featured nine goals, 51 penalty minutes and three fights. The contest ended with the Avalanche holding on to the lead in the third period to win the game, 5-4. The following meeting on Dec. 5 in Dallas was a little tamer with only 12 penalty minutes served between the two teams and a 1-1 game that was eventually decided in the shootout. Colorado was undefeated in shootouts going into the game but Mike Modano was able to put the Avalanche away, as he shot the puck past Colorado’s Peter Budaj as Dallas’ fourth shooter.
2.)  Mike Modano has owned the faceoff circle lately. In the past two games Modano has won 30 of 42 faceoffs for a 71.4 faceoff percentage. The Livonia, Michigan native is constantly relied upon to come up with the puck at important times during the game. By winning faceoffs he has helped the Stars control the puck and the speed of the game, which has proven vital in the Stars’ current five-game winning streak. During the winning streak, the center has won 54 of 84 face offs for a 64.3 face off percentage.
3.)  James Neal currently sits second on the Dallas Stars in goals with 16. The young left wing has been enjoying a very solid rookie season with respectable scoring numbers for a 21-year-old playing in the NHL. In the past five games Neal has recorded three goals and four assists for seven points and posted a +6 rating. Among rookie leaders in the NHL, the Whitby, Ontario native sits tied-for-second in goals with 16 and tied-for-sixth in points with 23. Neal has also scored his first two game-winning goals in back-to-back games going into the match-up with Colorado. The rookie has been able to make an impact on this streak that the Stars are on and he will be a major part of the rest of Dallas’ 2008-09 campaign.
4.)  Stars still streaking. The Dallas Stars’ current five-game win streak has pushed them into the playoff picture. The team will have a more difficult task with the next two games, looking at their first back-to-back set since Jan. 3-4. The Stars will play in Colorado Thursday night and head immediately back to Dallas for a game Friday night against the NY Rangers. Both clubs will be fresh also with the Avalanche and the Rangers having two days off before their respective match-ups. The club will have to dig deep if they are going to continue this run.
5.)  One to watch for: Ryan Smyth, who scored his 300th career NHL goal Jan. 18 vs. Calgary, currently leads the Colorado Avalanche in points and has been a steady, consistent player for the struggling franchise this season. Smyth was brought to the club before the 2007-08 but struggled with injuries all season and finished having only played 55 games. This season is another story for the left wing, skating in all 51 of Colorado’s games so far this season. The Banff, Alberta native leads the team in shots and has a knack for scoring on the power play with seven power-play goals this season. During his career, Smyth has scored 12 goals and 15 assists in 42 games all-time against the Stars.

Author: Dallas Stars Staff

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