The Colorado Avalanche started a five-game homestand last week hoping to turn their season around and get back into the Central Division race. The Dallas Stars embarked on a four-game road swing looking to gel on the road and find their game.
Neither has won a game since. Both are desperate.
The Stars' road swing you're familiar with- The latest indignity coming at the hands of Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday to the tune of a 6-2 lopsided result.
The Avs lost a low-scoring affair to the Canucks in a shootout, gave up six to the Oilers, five to the Preds, and most recently dropped a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday. 0-3-1, and the Stars are their last chance to salvage something before they head back out on the road.
Colorado entered Friday tied for fewest points in the West with the Coyotes- One of their few wins, of course, came across these Dallas Stars in their home opener in a wild 6-5 win that had us thinking the high-flying gambling of last season was still a thing.
When last these two met the Stars again teased a hungry fanbase at the AAC with a glimpse of what seems, at this point, like a past life as they scored three times in 10 minutes to jump out to a huge lead in the first period.
Then Nate MacKinnon took over, unleashing a barrage of offense, notably in the third period where he scored and assisted on another as the Avs pulled to within one, but lost despite a 36-22 shot advantage and the Stars crept into the night with two points. Kari Lehtonen was the chief burglar in the incident.
The news out of Stars media outlets these days is more speculative than reporting. The group of eight defensemen remain with the ninth on his way back (Oduya) next week. The forward core has remained somewhat static- But what will they do with the D? When will they settle on a consistent group that can be allowed to gel?
Another night, another answer to that question awaits us. One thing is for sure- Jim Nill's name is getting thrown around out there as much as Lindy Ruff's these days, the air of inevitability building. Like any of us know what that guy is going to do ;)
The Avs sent young winger Sam Henley back to San Antonio along with Gabriel Bourque despite having scored a goal on the call up. Their lineup up until that point had looked like this:
- Semyon Varlamov
- Semyon Varlamov
Gabriel Landeskog continues to miss time with a mysterious lower-body injury that's been described by local media as "cryptic". He was skating. Then he stopped. No one seems to know much, other than the fact that he won't be playing this evening.
They've recalled Rocco Grimmaldi from the AHL, and somehow it was news that Varlmov would start against Dallas tonight. Of course he will.
From Stars PR:
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche meet on Saturday night for third of five meetings between the two clubs during the 2016-17 regular season. The Stars have a 1-1-0 record against the Avalanche this season and won the most recent meeting, 3-2, at American Airlines Center on Nov. 17. Forward Patrick Eaves (1-0=1) recorded the game-winning goal, with forward Brett Ritchie (1-0=1) and defenseman Johnny Oduya (1-0=1) each potting goals. The Stars went 2-for-7 on the power play and a perfect 2-of-2 on the penalty kill. In the first meeting of the season at Pepsi Center on Oct. 15, Colorado bested Dallas, 6-5. Forward Tyler Seguin tied a game-high with three points (2-1=3) and four other Stars players recorded multi-point games including captain Jamie Benn (1-1=2) along with forwards Patrick Eaves (0-2=2), Brett Ritchie (1-1=2) and Devin Shore (1-1=2). In two games against Colorado this season, Seguin leads all Stars skaters with four points (2-2=4). On special teams over the two contests, Dallas is 36.4% (4-for-11) on the power play and 60.0% (3-of-5) on the penalty kill.
SEGS N' BACON
Stars forward Tyler Seguin recorded a goal (1-0=1) on Thursday night against the Penguins and now has points in three consecutive games (1-2=3). Seguin shares fifth in the NHL with 25 points (8-17=25) in 25 games this season and is tied for second in the League with 17 assists. The forward shares third in the NHL with 11 power play points this season and ranks fourth with 86 shots on goal. His 16 points (7-9=16) on the road ranks third in the NHL and shares fifth with nine assists. The native of Brampton, Ont. has registered points in nine of his last 10 road games (4-8=12) with 34 shots on goal over that span. Seguin is riding a two-game point streak against Colorado (2-2=4) and has registered points in six of his last seven games at Pepsi Center (3-6=9). Over the course of his NHL career, the forward has 15 points (6-9=15) in 15 games against the Avalanche.