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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Avs aim to gain ground in Dallas

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Another must-win night.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars will be battling for playoff position tonight in “Big D.”

Dallas won comfortably in their last meeting with the Avs by a score of 4-0. The first of a recently snapped three-game shutout streak for Stars netminder Ben Bishop. The Avs also lost captain Gabriel Landeskog to an upper-body injury after Bishop “unintentionally” pinned him to the boards.

Dallas has been a dominant defensive team in the later part of the season only allowing eight goals in regulation the last nine games. Colorado will have to work hard to get pucks through traffic tonight but with the stakes high, expect to see Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen in elite form.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Colorado won a massive two points against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. Tyson Jost got the game winner on a wicked backhand that beat Dubnyk glove side, and the win put the Avs closer to the eighth and final wild-card spot that is currently held by the Arizona Coyotes.

The Yotes are sitting at 78 points, just two ahead of the Avalanche at 76. Should Arizona lose in regulation, and the Avs get their third straight win, the Avalanche will take hold of the final playoff spot and be just four points behind Dallas in first wild-card position.

It seems like I’ve been highlighting Avalanche defender Tyson Barrie a lot in recent history. Barrie is now just two goals shy of tying former great Sandis Ozolinsh for most in franchise history from a defender. I’d say he’s silenced the doubters.

FORWARDS

Derick Brassard - Nathan MacKinnon - J.T. Compher

Colin Wilson - Carl Soderberg - Mikko Rantanen

Alexander Kerfoot - Tyson Jost - Matt Calvert

Sven Andrighetto - Gabriel Bourque

DEFENDERS

Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson

Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov - Patrik Nemeth

Ryan Graves

DALLAS STARS

The Stars edged out a pesky Florida Panthers squad in their last contest by a score of 4-2. A win that was highlighted by strong play from Dallas forwards Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov. In just over nine minutes together on the ice, the three combined for 10 shots on net and two goals.

Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have responded like consummate professionals since receiving some harsh (but deserved) mid-season critique from management.

FORWARDS

Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Jamie Benn - Jason Dickinson - Joel L’Esperance

Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Andrew Cogliano - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie

DEFENDERS

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak

Taylor Fedun - Ben Lovejoy

GOALTENDERS

Expect to see Ben Bishop in net again tonight for the Dallas Stars. This game is too important for Dallas to go without arguably their best player between the pipes. Bishop comes in with a 2.05 GAA, and a save percentage of .932.

For Colorado, we will see if Philipp Grubauer will be getting his 3rd straight start or if Semyon Varlamov will return to the net in this must-win affair. I’d imagine Bednar goes with the hot hand seeing as Grubby has only allowed one goal in his last two contests.