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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: The Dallas Stars are back in town

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The Dallas Stars return to Colorado looking for a little revenge

NHL: Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Dallas Stars came to the Pepsi Center, they fell victim to a Matt Nieto hat-trick on their way to a 5-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Stars come into Denver having won two straight, including a 3-1 victory over the lowly Montreal Canadiens last night.

With the Avs sitting at home resting, and the Stars coming in on the second leg of a back to back, this is a perfect chance to grab a big win within the division. The season series is tied 1-1 with the home team winning both matchups so far.

It’s still early to be looking at the standings with any real significance but a regulation win for the Avalanche would pull them even with Dallas for fourth in the Central Division with two games in hand.


Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are going to look to build on a great win Sunday night in Detroit. After storming back to beat the Red Wings in overtime, the team returns to Denver where they have been outstanding all season.

Though they were outplayed by their counterparts the last time these two teams met, the Avs top line has been on fire lately. MacKinnon, Landeskog, and Rantanen are turning into one of the most dangerous lines in the league - let’s hope that continues tonight.

Judging from the morning skate, it seems as though Sven Andrighetto is going to find his way to the press box tonight as a healthy scratch.

On the back end, Patrik Nemeth is still out with a lower-body injury, but Anton Lindholm practiced with the team yesterday for the first time since breaking his jaw a few weeks ago. He’s not likely to get back into the lineup tonight, but it won’t be long before we see him back in game action.

Projected lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Colin Wilson - Alex Kerfoot - J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau

Gabriel Bourque - Dominic Toninato - Nail Yakupov

Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson

Chris Bigras - Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov - Mark Barberio


Dallas Stars

The Stars are coming into town having played last night and in the middle of a three-game in four nights stretch. They are a team that has been up and down and as expected, are being carried by their top line. Add to that that they are on a four-game road losing streak and this is a game that they likely shouldn’t be favored in.

Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alex Radulov lead the team in scoring with 21, 20, 20 points respectively - doubling the total for the next highest scoring Stars forward.

John Klingberg is on pace for 78 points and is showing why he is one of the best defensemen in the NHL.

Projected lineup:

Antoine Roussel - Jamie Benn - Alex Radulov

Devin Shore - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie

Mattias Janmark-Nylen - Radek Faksa - Jason Spezza

Remi Elie - Gemel Smith - Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis - Greg Patryn

Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns


Starting Goalies

After Semyon Varlamov missed practice yesterday due to sickness, Jonathan Bernier is set to get his second consecutive start for the Avs. Bernier has a 3-4-0 record with a .886 sv% in his seven starts this season. Andrew Hammond has been called up to back up Bernier for tonight’s game - it is his first time with the team since being acquired as part of the Matt Duchene trade.

Nothing is confirmed for Dallas, but we are likely to see Ben Bishop going back to back for the first time this season - head coach Ken Hitchcock alluded to the move last night.

If it’s not Bishop, we could see third-stringer Mike McKenna in his first NHL action of the season. McKenna was recalled earlier this week after backup Kari Lehtonen left the team for unspecified personal reasons.

In 12 games in the AHL this season, McKenna is 5-5-1 with a .871 sv%.


How to Watch/Listen

As always the game will be on Altitude, puck drop at 7:00 pm MST. For those of you looking for a different perspective, you can catch the Dallas broadcast on FS-Southwest and NHL.tv.

You can also listen to the game with our friend Marc Moser on Altitude Sports Radio 950AM.