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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

Saturday January 10, 2015
2:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (18-15-7) lost 3-2 in overtime at Nashville Thursday. The Stars overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in the game, but fell to 0-6 in four-on-four overtime when Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored 17 seconds into the extra period.

“We’re giving up points in overtime, and that’s obviously hurting us in the standings,” said Stars center Jason Spezza. “If you lose six games in overtime there’s something that you have to look at.”

The Stars are winless in their last three games (0-1-2) but have an 8-2-2 mark over their past 12 games. They are four points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Stars spent some time on the power play at Friday’s practice in Denver. The power play was 0-3 Thursday and is 0-8 over the past two games.

"Probably 80 percent of it was just careless execution last game, which frustrated the heck out of me," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “To a man, if you asked them what was wrong, they would say it was on us. It wasn’t good enough. What I'm trying to stress is to ramp up the number of shots."

Stars forward Erik Cole did not practice Friday. Ruff said it was a maintenance day for Cole, who is expected to play Saturday.

Saturday’s game concludes a two-game road trip for the Stars, who will then return home for a three-game homestand.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (17-16-8) defeated Ottawa, 5-2, in Denver Thursday night. Jarome Iginla scored two goals for Colorado, which has won four of its last five games.

“We've been battling for a while and the last 10-11 games, it feels like we're starting to build some momentum and guys are starting to feel better," Iginla said. “That's the end of the first half, and we've given ourselves a chance to keep climbing into the playoff race. We think we can do that. We've been through some tough times this year, and it's starting to come for us.”

After a 9-13-6 start to the season, the Avalanche are 8-3-2 over their past 13 games. They are five points out the final playoff spot in the West and one point behind the Stars.

“Any points we can get are crucial right now, and we know the game on Saturday is a really big one against Dallas,” defenseman Erik Johnson told the team’s official site.

Saturday’s game concludes a two-game homestand for Colorado, which then embarks on a five-game road trip.

Injuries: Patrick Bordeleau (knee), Jamie McGinn (back), Ben Street (hand), Ryan Wilson (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (concussion) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Avalanche won the first meeting, defeating the Stars, 5-2, in Denver on Nov. 29.

*The Stars have lost three straight games at Colorado.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-0-2 in their past six road games.

*Colorado is 5-2-1 in its past eight home games.

*The Stars are 2-7-5 vs. the Central Division.

*The Avalanche are 4-7-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 0-8 on the power play over the past two games.

*Colorado is 9-9 on the penalty kill over the past three games.

*Colorado is 2-18 on the power play over the past seven games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (26) and points (47).

*Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay co-lead the Avalanche in both goals (12) and points (27).

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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