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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Saturday, April 8
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (33-37-11) lost 7-3 to Nashville Thursday at American Airlines Center. The Stars trailed 4-0 after the first period and could never recover.

"I think we gave them the game. It's just embarrassing. From the first shift we were not in the game at all. The whole first period was just embarrassing," said defenseman John Klingberg. "We came back in the second and did pretty well, but it was the same thing. We let those easy opportunities slip in there, and it's just how the season has been. It's been pretty frustrating."

The Stars close out their season with Saturday's game against the Avalanche, and the Stars will look for a better performance for fans.

"That's what we need to do," Klingberg said. "We wanted to do it today too, but, like I said, we have to stay professional and play for the fans."

The Stars lost center Justin Dowling in the game after he took a stick to the head. He is out with concussion-like symptoms. Right wing Brett Ritchie was a late scratch due a lower-body injury.

With two more forwards out of action, the Stars recalled forwards Denis Gurianov, the team's first-round pick in 2015, and Mark McNeill from the Texas Stars of the AHL Friday.

Injuries: RW Brett Ritchie (lower body), C Justin Dowling (concussion-like symptoms), LW Antoine Roussel (hand), LW Curtis McKenzie (eye), RW Ales Hemsky (hip), RW Patrick Sharp (hip), RW Jiri Hudler (groin), and C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) are out.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (22-55-3) lost 4-3 to Minnesota in Denver Thursday. It was the ninth loss in the past eleven games for the Avalanche who have the worst record in the NHL. Tyson Jost, who joined the Avalanche after his season at the University of North Dakota ended, scored his first NHL goal in the game.

"It's special. It's nice to do it in front of the home crowd," Jost said. "Hopefully there's going to be many more of those at home and on the road, too. It's just disappointing that we couldn't get that win, for sure."

Thursday's game was the final at home for the Avalanche who close out their season on the road at Dallas and St. Louis.

Injuries: F Mikko Rantanen (lower body) is day to day.

Season Series

*This is the fifth meeting of the season between the Stars and Avalanche.

*The Stars are 3-1-0 in the season series.

*Oct. 15, at Colorado: Avalanche 6, Stars 5
*Nov. 17, at Dallas: Stars 3, Avalanche 2
*Dec. 3, at Colorado: Stars 3, Avalanche 0
*Dec. 29, at Dallas: Stars 4, Avalanche 2

Notes

*The Stars are 21-13-6 at home.

*The Avalanche are 9-29-1 on the road.

*The Stars are 8-15-5 vs. the Central Division.

*The Avalanche are 8-20-0 vs. the Central Division.

*If Denis Gurianov and Mark McNeill play Saturday, they will be the ninth and tenth rookies to suit up for the Stars this season. Gurianov would be making his NHL debut, and McNeill would be playing in his second NHL game.

*Stars rookies have combined for 81 points (29 goals, 52 assists) this season.

*Devin Shore leads Dallas rookies and ranks 15th in the league with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists).

*Stars rookie Jason Dickinson has scored goals in consecutive games.

*Colorado's Mikko Rantanen is tied for ninth in rookie scoring with 36 points (18 goals, 18 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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