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Prospect-Heavy Stars Face Avalanche Tonight

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Today’s lineup has only four players who are locks to be with the NHL team for opening night. Will somebody step forward to make a case for themselves?

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

The Dallas Stars continue their preseason slate this evening with a matchup against division rivals the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. CT from the Pepsi Center.

For their second game of the preseason, the Avalanche will play a significant number of their regulars, including Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog up front and Philipp Grubauer in net. It will also be an opportunity for Stars fans to see Cale Makar on defense, while Valeri Nichushkin will be drawing in on right wing for Colorado.

The Stars lineup features Mattias Janmark, Radek Faksa, Jason Dickinson, and Jamie Oleksiak as the NHL-level talent, with the rest of the lineup consisting players looking to state their case for making the opening day roster or just keeping a spot on the preseason roster.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Stefan Noesen
Joel Kiviranta - Justin Dowling - Jason Dickinson
Riley Tufte - Joel L’Esperance - Michael Mersch
Tye Felhaber - Rhett Gardner - Scottie Upshall

Jamie Oleksiak - Taylor Fedun
Gavin Bayreuther - Joel Hanley
Thomas Harley - Emil Djuse

Jake Oettinger (two periods)
Landon Bow (one period)

The Dallas defensive pairings are filled with puck-movers, so there could be a decent amount of action. Given Dallas’ defensive nature, what will stand out is defenders who can maintain their structure in an open game where they are facing NHL-caliber talent from Colorado.

On offense, somebody is going to need to step up and put the puck in the net. There really isn’t a consistent NHL scorer in the group, so this is a chance for Janmark and Dickinson to take on a leadership role in the offensive zone. Opportunities are also out there for Noesen, Dowling, L’Esperance, and Kiviranta to show that they deserve a shot. Looking dangerous in this lineup should be considered making a statement.

Oettinger and Bow could get a heavy workout in this game, and for netminders who will likely be battling for the 1A job with the Texas Stars, this is the season’s first look at that head-to-head competition.

The game will be available on KTCK radio and to watch on the Altitude sports network.