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Stars-Avalanche Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars

Friday February 27, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (27-25-9) saw their winless streak hit four games (0-3-1) with a 4-2 loss at Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Stars had plenty of good chances in the game, but struggled to put pucks in the net.

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We dominated play. We hit four or five goal posts, [Curtis] McKenzie misses a net on a two-on-one, [Erik] Cole has an empty net and hits [Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson] in the head. We didn’t finish.”

Three of the Stars’ last four losses have come against teams they are chasing in the playoff race. Friday’s game is against Colorado, a team they are tied with at 63 games.

“They’ve all been must games, every one of them,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “This is another challenge of a must game that we need to get.”

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen who missed Tuesday’s start with an undisclosed “medical issue” is probable for Friday’s game. Ales Hemsky, who missed Wednesday’s practice was on the ice for Thursday’s session and is probable for Friday.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (concussion), C Tyler Seguin (knee), LW Travis Moen (upper body) and RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) are out.

About the Avalanche

The Avalanche (26-24-11) had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Nashville Tuesday. The game was tied 1-1 after one period, but the Predators scored twice in the second to take a 3-1 lead into the third period, where they extended it to 5-1.

“I thought the first period was OK,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “I thought we didn't have as many shots as we'd like, but I thought we had a decent first period. You have to give [Nashville] credit. This is a good team, well-balanced. They have the best home record for a reason. I love their intensity. They were quick on pucks, put a lot of pressure on our defense.”

Colorado, which is 4-2-0, in its last six games, is tied with the Stars at 63 points.

Friday’s game concludes a two-game road trip for the Avalanche, who are on the front-end of a back-to-back. They host Minnesota Saturday. These two games could be the season for the Avalanche.

"I'd like to say no, but I think it is," Colorado coach Patrick Roy told 104.3 The Fan in Denver Thursday morning. “These are very important games.”

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

Series Notes

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

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

*The Avalanche are 4-0-0 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)

*Feb. 14, at Colorado: Avalanche 4, Stars 1

*The Stars are 1-6-2 vs. Colorado over the past two seasons.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 6-7-2 since the All-Star break.

*The Avalanche are 6-6-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 1-3-2 in their past six games at home.

*The Avalanche are 2-4-2 in their past eight games on the road.

*The Stars are 5-12-6 vs. the Central Division.

*The Avalanche are 9-11-4 vs. the Central Division.

*After going 11 straight games without a power-play goal, Colorado is 4-14 (28.6 percent) on the PP over the past four games.

*Dallas is 4-15 (26.7 percent) on the power play over the past five games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has points in eight straight games (seven goals, six assists).

*Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly has six assists over 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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