The Colorado Avalanche will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Ryan O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues on Friday night when they stop onto the ice against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
The Stars should be a good opponent for the Avalanche, especially considering how well they played Dallas the last time the two teams met on November 24th. Semyon Varlamov was in net and stopp 27 of 29 shots, the Avs carried 62% of the attempts, 58% of the shots, and scored two goals in the last three minutes to win it from behind. They’ll be looking to do the same tonight.
Coach Bednar was not happy with his team’s performance against a lowly Blues squad last night. He criticized the top line on the overtime goal against, as well as the rest of the lineup for coasting on the coat-tails of the top line. “You gotta finish it off,” said the coach in reponse to the top line having every advantage in overtime and somehow blowing it. “We left one on the table.”
Despite it being a back-to-back, Alex Kerfoot is still out with an upper-body injury and the Avs don’t have any extra skaters beyond Mark Alt, so we expect to see the same lines and pairings as we saw on Friday. If there are any changes, we will update this post so stay tuned.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Sven Andrighetto
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Matt Calvert
A.J. Greer - Colin Wilson - Gabriel Bourque
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie
Patrik Nemeth - Nikita Zadorov
The Stars have lost three in a row coming into the final game of their four-game road trip. The power play has been cold for Dallas, but they will be playing a tired Avalanche team with the fifth-most power play goals allowed in the league. Special teams was a non-factor in the November 24th game, but it might be a big factor tonight, especially considering the on-paper lethality of each team’s top line.
On defense, rookie Miro Heiskanen has put himself in the national spotlight. He is firmly in the Calder race as a result of playing the most minutes on the team and his emergence as a point producer. He has stepped up for the massively injured Stars team who has been without John Klingberg for 16 games.
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Devin Shore - Martin Hanzal - Denis Gurianov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin
Jason Dickinson - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell - Julius Honka
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Gavin Bayreuther - Taylor Fedun
The plan was always to have Semyon Varlamov take the second game of the back-to-back, with Grubauer having the first. That plan has since...well...gone to plan. Varly has been outstanding for the Avs this year, dropping a .916 save percentage and a 2.71 goals against average this season in 21 games.
Ben Bishop is the starting goaltender for the Stars, and will be well-rested heading into Saturday night’s game against Colorado. In 19 games this season, Bishop has a .921 sv% and 2.43 gaa.