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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Thursday, November 17
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (6-6-5) lost 2-1 in overtime to the New Jersey Devils at American Airlines Center Tuesday. New Jersey's Adam Henrique scored on a two-on-one rush 44 seconds into the extra period to drop the Stars to 0-5 in three-on-three overtime this season.

"This might have been the best possession we've had in a long time. We just made another ill-advised decision to put a puck in the middle," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had good possession. We should have been changing by that time. The result was we made a bad pass, and we let guys get by us. We took a little step forward and then a giant step backward."

Patrick Eaves scored the lone goal for Dallas, and Antti Niemi stopped 31 of 33 shots in goal.

Stars center Cody Eakin, who has been out since early in training camp with a knee injury, practiced Wednesday. Ruff said Eakin is a "possibility" for Thursday's game.

Thursday's game is the second of a four-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: C Cody Eakin (knee) is questionable. RW Patrick Sharp (concussion), RW Jiri Hudler (illness), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (7-8-0) defeated Los Angeles 4-1 in Denver Tuesday. Patrick Wiercioch and Rene Bourque scored 22 seconds apart in the second period to stake the Avalanche to a 2-0 lead and goaltender Semyon Varlamov made it stand up with a 32-save effort. Colorado scored four goals in a game for the first time since Oct. 20.

"We've been waiting for this, pretty long actually," Varlamov said. "It's always nice to see it. The team played well in front of me. When the guys score lots of goals it gives you more confidence."

Colorado went 2-2-0 on a four-game homestand. Thursday's game begins a three-game road trip for the Avalanche who will play at Dallas, Minnesota, and Columbus.

Forward Matt Duchene, who has been out with concussion-like symptoms, practiced Wednesday. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Duchene is a "possibility" for Thursday. Bednar said forward Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Patrick Wiercioch were "dinged up" and given maintenance days Wednesday, but should be fine Thursday.

Injuries: F Matt Duchene (concussion-like symptoms) is questionable.

Season Series

*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Avalanche this season.

*Colorado won the first meeting, 6-5, in Denver on Oct. 15.

*The Stars are 3-9-3 in their past 15 games against Colorado.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 3-2-2 at home.

*Colorado is 3-4-0 on the road.

*The Stars are 3-5-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Avalanche are 3-4-0 vs. the Central Division.

*Colorado has scored 19 five-on-five goals, fewest in the NHL, and have been outscored 29-19 during five-on-five play.

*The Stars have been outscored 30-27 in five-on-five play.

*Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov has stopped 92 of 96 shots in his past three starts.

*Stars forward Antoine Roussel is on the league's longest active points streak at 7 games (3 goals, 6 assists). 

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin is tied for third in the NHL in scoring with 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists).

*Forward Matt Duchene leads Colorado in scoring with 11 points (6 goals, 5 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 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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