||6 MT / 8 ET / 1 GMT
|22-18-11||January 24th, 2010
|55 pts||Pepsi Center
10th in West
3rd in West
The Dallas Stars make there way into the Pepsi Center today to take on the Northwest Division leading Colorado Avalanche.
Dallas is coming off a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. While Colorado is coming off a hard fought 2-1 win over Nashville, it was the Avs 5th win in a row.
What's on the line?
For Colorado, they are going for their first six game winning streak since February 2008. This is a big game for Colorado because it will not only increase their NW division lead, but go that much further to proving that this team is a legitimate playoff contender.
For Dallas, this is a team that is struggling to find it's identity under new coach Marc Crawford. You may remember him from such incidents as the Steve Moore incident in Vancouver, and oh yeah the Avs 1996 Stanley Cup championship.
Dallas is coming off a season where they also did not qualify for the playoffs. However, they are also only two seasons removed from an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
The Avs are coming into this game on the highest of highs. The Stars, not so much. Up until their last game, the Stars had lost their previous 10 road games. With Colorado sporting one of the best home records in the League at 14-6-2, and Dallas sporting a sub .500 road record, things seem like they would be lined up for an Avs victory.
Let's not be so quick to dismiss this Dallas team though. Over the last several years the Stars and Avs have had one of the more heated rivalries in the NHL, yeah it's not Wings/Avs but don't kid yourself, these two teams do not like each other. Not one bit. I suppose meeting in the playoffs 4 of the last 10 years will go a long way toward building a rivalry.
Dallas is working to get itself back into the Western Conference playoff playoff picture. Had it not been for an almost miracle goal by Jamie Benn against the Oil on Friday night, they might not have escaped Edmonton with a win. Making for an even more difficult trip into Denver, the Stars are dealing with some injuries. Tom Wandell and Brendan Morrow are day-to-day with various injuries. Mike Ribero and Jere Lehtinen are on injured reserve with long term injuries. Colorado will be without Marek Svatos, Ryan WIlson, Adam Foote, Ruslan Salei, David Jones, and Milan Hejduk who are all on injured reserve.
With Colorado coming off a smash mouth victory over the Nashville Predators, I am calling for a 5-2 win over the Stars. Dallas is having issues finding confidence in their goaltender as they have been flip flopping between Alex Auld and Marty Turco. My guess is that the starting goalie matchup will be be Craig Anderson vs. Marty Turco.
#41 / Goalie / Colorado Avalanche
May 21, 1981
|2009 - Craig Anderson||42||2521||25||11||106||2.52||1357||1251||.922||4|
#35 / Goalie / Dallas Stars
Aug 13, 1975
|2009 - Marty Turco||36||2110||15||13||100||2.84||1056||956||.905||2|
For Dallas' view on this game check out Defending Big D.
For complete coverage check out Stars vs Avalanche coverage.