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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

Tuesday October 15
8:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM

About the Stars

The Stars (2-2-0) are coming off a 5-1 loss at Minnesota on Saturday. They’ll try to bounce back on Tuesday, taking on a Colorado team that has won its first five games of the season.

“They’ve really played well,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We knew playing them in the preseason that they have great speed up front, a really talented group of forwards. They’ve been able to back teams up, and they’ve been able to back some good teams up. We do have a good challenge ahead of us.”

The Stars got off to a slow start against Minnesota on Saturday, allowing a goal off a turnover 12 seconds into the game and then another off a turnover midway through the first period to allow the Wild to take a 2-0 lead.

Goaltender Dan Ellis, who got off to a rough start in the game as well, is expected to get the start Tuesday night in Denver.

“Dan had a good preseason, it’s a game he wants back,” said Ruff. “It’s a bounce back game for everybody, including Dan. You just want to see the response to it.”

The Stars placed goaltender Kari Lehtonen on IR retroactive to Oct. 11 with a lower body injury Monday. The Stars also activated D Aaron Rome from injured non-roster and assigned him to the Texas Stars (AHL) on a conditioning assignment. C Chris Mueller was assigned to the Texas Stars as well.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (lower body) is out. D Aaron Rome (hip) is on a conditioning assignment.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (5-0-0) won 5-1 at Washington Saturday to complete a 3-0-0 road trip. Semyon Varlamov stopped 40 shots in his first game against his former team. Varlamov is 4-0-0 this season with a 1.00 goals against average and .970 save percentage.

“He’s playing outstanding,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “What I like about Varly is that he’s under control. He’s always square to the shooters, he gets out of the net, he’s playing with a lot of confidence and he deserves it. The success that he has, he has done it on his own.”

Varlamov and backup J-S Giguere were named the NHL’s Second Stars of the Week after leading Colorado its three straight wins on the road. Varlamov will get the start Tuesday against the Stars.

Colorado, which also defeated Boston and Toronto during its road trip, plays its next two games at home.

“We’ve got to forget about the road trip and look forward to [Tuesday’s] game,” Avalanche forward Paul Stastny said. “It’s a division game and those are the big games for us.”

Injuries: F Cody McLeod (knee) is probable.

Series Notes

*This is the first of five meetings between the Stars and Avalanche.

*The Stars were 2-1-0 against Colorado last season.

The Stars are 50-47-16 all-time against Colorado.

Statistical tidbits

*Colorado has outscored its opposition 18-4 over the first five games.

*Colorado leads the league in goals against average (0.80) and save percentage (.977).

*Colorado is 12-12 (100.0 percent) on the penalty kill so far this season.

*The Stars are 3-13 (23.1 percent) on the power play.

*Colorado is 4-19 (21.1 percent) on the power play.

*The Stars are 13-17 (76.5 percent) on the penalty kill this season.

*Colorado has outscored its opponents 10-4 during five-on-five play.

*The Stars have been outscored 6-5 during five-on-five play.

*Stars goaltender Dan Ellis is 5-1-0 in his career vs. Colorado with a 2.01 goals against average and .923 save percentage.

*Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov is 1-3-2 in his career vs. Dallas with a 3.98 goals against average and .864 save percentage.

*Alex Chiasson leads Dallas with three goals.

*Tyler Seguin (two goals, four assists) leads the Stars with six points.

*Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, five assists) leads the Avalanche with six points.

*Matt Duchene, PA Parenteau and Jamie McGinn lead Colorado with three goals each.

This story was not subject to the 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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