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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars

Tuesday February 3, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (23-19-7) are coming off a 5-2 win in Winnipeg on Saturday in which they scored four times on the power play. Defenseman John Klingberg tallied two goals and two assists, and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 38 shots. The Stars went 2-1-0 on a three-game road trip, winning the final two games.

“Our play was pretty consistent throughout those three games,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Special teams were on the better side and, obviously, the power play had a big night in Winnipeg. I really felt our power play was going in the right direction. We just had to finish some opportunities. And Lehts gave us a real strong game. We just need to remain consistent and keep pushing our way up.”

Forward Erik Cole, who has missed the last three games with an upper body injury, practiced on the second line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky Monday. He is questionable for Tuesday.

The Stars recalled D Jyrki Jokipakka from Texas (AHL) on Monday.

Klingberg was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after registering 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 13 games.

Tuesday’s game is the first of a two-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Erik Cole (upper body) is questionable. RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (21-18-11) are coming off a 3-0 win in Denver on Friday night. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

“Defensively, I thought we were sharp. It's nice to give Varly a performance like this,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. “Not saying it was an easy shutout, but it's nice for him to have an easier game where we don’t give that many shots and not many scoring chances. That was a strong performance by our team.”

The Avalanche improved to 6-2-3 over their past 11 games and 8-3-3 over their past 14.

Forward Jarome Iginla did not practice Monday due to a leg bruise but is expected to play Tuesday. Forward Alex Tanguay (bruised hand) practiced Monday and is expected to play as well.

Injuries: LW Patrick Bordeleau (knee), D Erik Johnson (knee), LW Jamie McGinn (back), RW Borna Rendulic (leg), D Ryan Wilson (shoulder) and RW Jesse Winchester (concussion) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 0-2-0 in the season series.

*Nov. 29, at Colorado: Avalanche 5, Stars 2

*Jan. 10, at Colorado: Avalanche 4, Stars 3

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 13-6-2 since Dec. 13.

*The Avalanche are 12-5-5 since Dec. 11.

*Colorado is 1-2-3 in its past six road games but 4-3-3 over the past ten.

*The Stars are 2-3-0 in their past five home games but 5-3-0 over the past eight.

*The Stars are 4-9-5 vs. the Central Division.

*The Avalanche are 6-8-4 vs. the Central.

*The Stars are 6-11 (54.6 percent) on the power play over the past two games and 9-29 (31.0 percent) over the past six.

*Colorado is 0-17 on the power play over the past five games.

*Stars defenseman John Klingberg has 11 points (five goals, six assists) over his past eight games.

*Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla is on a three-game goal scoring streak and has scored four goals in the past six games.

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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