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Game 81 Preview: Avalanche @ Stars

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After officially eliminating themselves from playoff contention on Tuesday, the Avalanche (39-37-4) head to Dallas for their final road game of the season against the Central division leading Dallas Stars (48-23-9).

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it's official now. The Colorado Avalanche will not participate in the 2016 NHL playoffs. Give the Avs credit though, they laid it all on the line late in Nashville Tuesday night. But unfortunately, it was too little too late. Roy said the Avs had to make the playoffs this season, and they didn't. Patrick Roy only missed the playoffs once as a player. He's missed it twice now as a coach. The head coach of the Avalanche has not been shy in calling out his top players after the team has been removed from playoff contention. With such words, it is curious what lies ahead for the Avalanche in the offseason. Until then, there is two games to be played against two more tough opponents looking to win their divisions. The Avs can only play the role of the spoiler at this point, however. Let's see how they do.

The first opponent for the Avalanche is the Dallas Stars Thursday night. The Stars continue to hold off the Blues for the Central division title. The Stars have also had to try to hold off the injury bug. The Stars have been without star center Tyler Seguin since March 17th with a torn Achilles. The center returned to the ice on Wednesday, but is still unlikely to play until the playoffs. The stars have also been without defensemen Kris Russell and Jason Demers. Russell appears ready for a return Thursday. The Stars will need their defensemen and star center if they intend on making it far into the playoffs. Like the Avalanche two years ago, the Stars have surprised the NHL by reaching the top of the Central through offensive power. The league's top scoring team will look to continue that offensive force and stay ahead of the defensive minded Blues in the Central with two games remaining.

LINES

Grigorenko-Duchene-Boedker

Landeskog-Soderberg-Comeau

Matthias-Mitchell-Iginla

McLeod-Agozzino-Martinsen

Beauchemin-Johnson

Holden-Barrie

Zadorov-Redmond

Varlamov

Pickard

NOTES

- The Avs are 2-0-1 against the Stars this season.

- Regardless of the outcome, the Avs will end the season with a winning record on the road.

- The Stars and Capitals are the only two teams that average more than three goals per game.

GAME INFO

Game time: 6:30pm MT

TV: ALT