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Dallas Stars Bring Same Lineup to Face Colorado Avalanche in First Central Division Game

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Central division play was a big part of why the Stars didn't make the playoffs last season, and they try to get things started off on the right foot tonight in Denver.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Dallas Stars will be playing the same 20 men tonight who helped them shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 in their season opener on Thursday. After all, why change what's working?

Colton Sceviour, Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak will be the scratches. Antti Niemi will be in goal. The Stars didn't run lines at morning skate, but they kept the lines the same at Friday's practice even though they're quite different from what many have drawn up on paper.

During his morning media scrum, Lindy Ruff did say there may be some "subtle" changes to the lines as the game rolls on, but he did say playing so well against Pittsburgh (and even though the shots on goal were lopsided, the shot attempts were quite event) made it difficult to tinker.

This is the start of divisional play for the Stars, an area where they really struggled last season and must be better this time around if they hope to return to the playoffs. The Avs gave them a particularly tough time - they were 0-3 in Denver last season and haven't won there in the last five tries.

In many was the Avalanche are like the Stars in that they have some very fast, talented forwards who can make life miserable off the rush. They will be coming into the game highly motivated as well, as they held two three-goal leads in their season opener but ended up losing 5-4 to the Minnesota wild.

If there were another reason to play Niemi, it is that he has a strong history of success against Colorado with an 8-1-3 career record. That may help balance out the fact that Semyon Varlamov simply loves to play the Stars with a 9-3-2 record of his own.

So sit back, relax and let Razor get you prepared for the first road game of the Stars season.