Game 4 of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche series is a big one.
It could give the Stars the chance to restore their two game series lead, which they had after winning Games 1 and 2 last week before losing in Game 3. With a 3-1 series lead, the Stars could be on the precipice of moving to the next round with three more games to close out the series.
Or, it could give the Avalanche the opportunity to tie the series and have the momentum swung their way after erasing a two-game deficit. Then, they’d have the seeming edge as the teams would be forced into a best-of-three to determine who moves on to the Western Conference Finals.
Regardless of the outcome tonight, the one thing that can be most expected is that it will feature exciting hockey. None of the games to date have been boring. Both teams have had stretches where they’ve exploded for offensive spurts of multiple goals. There have been comebacks and special teams clinics and adversity to overcome.
Game 1 featured a combined eight goals. Game 2 had seven. Game 3 had 10. None of the games in the series have had a team that didn’t reach five or more goals scored. So the only prediction for Game 4 most feel comfortable committing to is that it will be a rather high-scoring affair once again.
DALLAS STARS LINEUP
According to interim head coach Rick Bowness in yesterday’s media availability, Ben Bishop skated on Saturday but is still deemed unfit to play. Ditto Stephen Johns. Miro Heiskanen, whom many Stars fans were worried about after taking an open-ice crosschecking that resulted in some knee-to-knee contact with the Avalanche defender, came out of that game completely fine. That’d be a huge loss for the Stars otherwise.
With no availability today before puck drop at 5 PM CDT, we’ll know what the final lineup is once warmups happen. The team rolled this roster last time we saw them:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Joe Pavelski - Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Roope Hintz - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera - Taylor Fedun
Anton Khudobin gets the start in net with Jake Oettinger serving as the backup.
COLORADO AVALANCHE LINEUP
The Avalanche are still without Philipp Grubauer and Erik Johnson, while Matt Calvert remains day-to-day. Calvert isn’t expected to be in the lineup today according to head coach Jerad Bednar. The last time we saw them, the Avalanche ran this lineup:
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Valeri Nichushkin
Matt Calvert - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Matt Nieto
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Samuel Girard - Ian Cole
Nikita Zadorov - Kevin Connauton
Pavel Francouz will be in net.