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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

February 14, 2015
8:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (26-21-8) defeated Florida, 2-0, Friday night at American Airlines Center, but lost three forwards to injury. C Tyler Seguin was injured on a low hit at the knees by Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. RW Patrick Eaves was hit in the head with a puck. RW Ales Hemsky left the game in the first period with a lower body injury. All are expected to be out “some time.”

“It’s somebody else’s opportunity,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It’s tough but we’ll call a couple of guys up. We’ve got (Curtis) McKenzie here so he’s in. We’ll call a couple of more up and they’ll both be going in and we’ll put some lines together. In my career coaching, I’ve seen where sometimes this can make a team stronger. It can give another guy an opportunity and you don’t use it as an excuse you use it as an opportunity. There’s injuries on every team.”

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen registered a 37-save shutout in Friday’s win, which was the Stars’ third in a row and pulled them to within three points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Stars will be missing one other key forward for Saturday’s game. LW Antoine Roussel will serve the final game of his two-game suspension for cross-checking Boston’s Adam McQuaid.

Saturdays’ game is the first of two straight on the road for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Antoine Roussel (suspended), C Tyler Seguin (lower body), RW Patrick Eaves (head), RW Ales Hemsky (lower body), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (22-22-11) lost 6-3 to the New York Rangers in Denver Thursday. The Avalanche were down 3-1 heading into the third period and rallied to tie before the Rangers scored three goals – including an empty-netter – to secure the win.

"We could have just rolled over, but as group in the third period I thought we came out right from the drop of the puck," Colorado forward Jarome Iginla said. "We put on a ton of pressure, took a ton of shots and tied it up. It hurts because we battled in a tough game, a roller coaster game, and we didn't come out with a win."

It was the fourth straight loss for Colorado, which is eight points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Saturday’s game is the second of a four-game homestand for the Avalanche.

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 fourth of five meetings this season between the Stars and Avalanche.

*The Stars are 0-2-1 in the season series.

*The Avalanche are 3-0-0 in the season series.

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

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

*Feb. 3, at Dallas: Avalanche 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 9-3-2 in their past 14 road games.

*The Avalanche have lost two in a row at home but are 8-4-1 in their last 13 at Pepsi Center.

*The Stars are 4-9-6 vs. the Central Division.

*Colorado is 7-10-4 vs. the Central.

*The Stars are 2-4-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

*The Stars have scored three shorthanded goals in the past two games and lead the NHL with nine shorthanded goals this season.

*Colorado is 0-31 on the power play over the past ten games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has three goals in the past two games.

*Stars center Jason Spezza is on a four-game points streak (two goals, four assists).

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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