Gameday: Dallas Stars @ Colorado Avalanche


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Dallas Stars
@ Colorado Avalanche

Thursday, Feb 5, 2009, 8:05 PM CST
Pepsi Center
Television: FS-SW | Radio: WBAP
Opponent's view: Mile High Hockey

Complete Coverage >


The Dallas Stars are riding a season high five game winning streak coming off of a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames at home. While the run has been spectacularly special and the Stars are unquestionably playing their best hockey of the season, the journey is far from over.

The Stars enter a critical three game stretch where they will play three times between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Tonight they will play in Colorado before flying back right after the game to take on the New York Rangers tomorrow night at home. The Stars finish up against Nashville in a late afternoon game Sunday night.

The question will become who plays and when. Expect the Stars to play the same lineup tonight that they have during the winning streak. Depending on how the game goes and how the team plays will determine who plays tomorrow night. Mike Parish and Fabian Brunnstrom will make the trip tonight but will most likely be healthy scratches. I expect one of the two to play sometime this weekend, most likely tomorrow night against the Rangers.

The Colorado Avalanche are in a free fall. They have lost two of their last nine games and are currently 2-5-0 on their home stand which ends tonight. However, the Avs won their last game, beating Calgary 4-3, and have had two days off to prepare for the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche always play the Stars tough and tonight should be no exception. If the Avs can win tonight and get a bit of momentum back, then a jump right back up the standing is well within reach.

Pay close attention to how the Stars defense handle Milan Hejduk, the Avs' leading goal scorer. He has always had success against the Stars and has seemed to give Marty Turco trouble with his quick shots. Also look to see how a less-than-physical Stars defense takes care of Ryan Smyth in front of the net. Smyth and Turco have had some issues with each other in the past so it will be interesting to see how a revamped Turco handles the frustration Smyth can cause.

Key Injuries:

Dallas: LW Fabian Brunnstrom (flu), RW Mark Parrish (flu) and RW Landon Wilson (ribs) are doubtful. LW Brenden Morrow (knee) and D Sergei Zubov (hip) are out.

Colorado: C Joe Sakic (back), C Paul Stastny (arm), D Adam Foote (triceps), LW David Jones (shoulder) are out.

Season stats comparison, via NHL.com:

2008-2009 Team Stats
55 Points: 49
24 Wins: 24
2 Shutouts: 1
25 Power Play Rank: 19
25 Penalty Kill Rank: 26
.923 Win % When Leading After 1: .667
.857 Win % When Leading After 2: 1.000
.320 Win % When Trailing After 1: .067
.059 Win % When Trailing After 2: .182

Around the West:

Anaheim lost last night to Minnesota and face the Nashville Predators tonight. The win by the Wild puts them in a points tie with Dallas at 55 points yet Dallas stays ahead due to points percentage. The Stars also remain within two points of the Ducks. With a win tonight and a Ducks loss, the Stars can move into 5th place in the Western conference.

In other games of significance, Detroit beat Phoenix 5-4. The Coyotes remain two points behind the Stars and Wild.

As always, join us here tonight in the game day thread to discuss the Dallas Stars as they take on the Avalanche and look to extend their win streak to six games.

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