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Colorado Avalanche Gameday: Time to Tango in Texas

The Avs visit Texas for the first time in almost two years, looking to get back on level terms against Dallas who knocked them out of the bubble last time they met

Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Avalanche return to Texas for the first time in nearly two years. Not only this, they play the Stars for the first time after they knocked the Avs out of the bubble 2020 NHL Playoffs in the second round in Game 7 in overtime.

For Avs fans, it was an incredibly bitter defeat. Despite the multitude of injuries the Avs suffered in that series, they fought back from 3-1 down and were three minutes away from a Game 7 win which stung even more.

Colorado Avalanche

While the series loss for the Avs was forever ago, things have changed drastically for these two sides. The Avs are still in the hunt for the top spot in the West, while the Stars are in the midfield hunt for a low seeded playoff spot.

While playoffs are long ways down the line from this point, the Avs are coming off a devastating blow 7-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. While the lost hurt, the more devastating blow to this game was the lower body injury to Pavel Francouz.

Coming off double-hip surgery that left him out of the entirety of last season, the hope is that this is not as serious of an injury. This seems to have been the case, as the Avs announced he will be out 3-4 weeks.

A few highlights from the game however included the returns of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Andre Burakovsky to the line-up. Mackinnon nabbed two assists, while Rantanen and Burakovsky recorded two goals each for all of the scoring Tuesday night. The big names did well in their first game since June, and will look to progress further in these final two preseason games against the Stars.

Speaking of Rantanen, the Moose received some good new this morning:

Oh and he’s going to have a friend turn into a rival for a couple weeks:

Dallas Stars

The Stars are coming off their second win of the preseason thanks to a 3-1 defeat to the St. Louis Blues. Two third period goals from Luke Glendening and Jamie Benn were the difference in the result.

In the back, the Stars are in an interesting place with the net-minder battle between Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin. Khudobin led the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 playing in an unbelievable form, but had somewhat of an off year last year. The acquisition of Holtby will make that battle interesting, along with Ben Bishop still wallowing around the team looking to get the starting job back.

Holtby impressed in Tuesday’s win, only spicing up the starting job in Dallas even more. With Holtby playing all of Tuesday’s game against the Blues, expect Khudobin to be in the team, and there may be an appearance from Bishop as well against the offense of the Avs.

Lineups

Here’s the Avs lineup for tonight from Peter Baugh.