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Preseason Game 3 Recap: Stars 2 Avalanche 1

The Avalanche fell 2-1 to the Stars last night. But since this is a preseason game, the score isn't really all that important. What's important is how the Avs played and especially how some particular players played.

The Avs again left many of their vets home last night, and nowhere was that most evident than on defense when Ryan Willson was the only blueliner with NHL experience in the lineup. Wilson, Jonas Holos, Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, Stefan Elliot and Cameron Gaunce - the 6 guys we identified yesterday as fighting for a roster spot - all played last night and appear to have collectively held their own, as the Stars managed just 21 shots. Elliot may have made a strong case for himself, leading all Avs in ice time and firing 12 (!) shots of (6 made it on net). Wilson was credited with 6 hits. Shattenkirk, Cohen, Holos and Elliot all had significant PP ice time (but the Avs were 0 for 7). As we said yesterday that 3 or 4 of these defensemen might make the roster. It's hard to tell from just the box score, but it would seem that Ryan Wilson is probably all set, but the battle among the remaining 5 might have gotten a bit tighter last night.

Up front, Ryan Stoa likely helped his chances with 5 shots and 6 hits while skating on a line with Matt Duchene and Chris Stewart. Other "bubble" players up front also showed up on the score sheet. Mike Carman had 5 hits. Patrick Bordello of Blood had 4 hits and the Avs' lone goal. Mark Olver had 3 hits and an assists. And Luke Walker was a +1 (looks like Bordelau, Walker and Olver was the 4th line).

In net, Peter Budaj played the first 2 periods and allowed 1 goal. Jason Bacashihua played the final period in mop up duty.

As we mentioned yesterday, today is the start of the NHL waiver period. I suspect the Avalanche made 3 or 4 cuts after the game last night, which we'll hear about later today. If I was to guess, I would guess Bacashihua, Walker and Cohen and possibly Carman...but that defensemen battle is really tough to predict.