Gameday Preview: Dallas Stars @ Colorado Avalanche (8:00 PM CST)

The Dallas Stars find themselves injury riddled all of a sudden, and they have to leave behind half of their top six to face their Divisional opponent in Colorado.

That was a tough night last night in Dallas Stars land, as half of the top six was taken down by injury.

First, they lost Ales Hemsky to a lower body injury. Then there was this hit by Dmitry Kulikov on Tyler Seguin, from which he'll miss 'some time'. Soon after, Patrick Eaves took a deflected puck to the head and was sent to the hospitalfor x-rays and evaluation.

There's going to be a lot of shuffling tonight to make up for these losses.

Call-ups from the Texas Stars are expected, and we'll probably have those for you later tonight. A few different ways exist for the Dallas Stars to go with getting guys in the lineup; firstly, we're likely to see Patrick Eaves put on IR immediately to make roster space for the call-ups.

It's likely we'll see Travis Morin and Brett Ritchie coming in from Des Moines, where the Texas Stars played last night, on call-up. Curtis McKenzie will get ice time as well. With Morin subject to waivers after playing one more game at the NHL level, it's possible that the call-ups for tomorrow are designated as emergency call-ups, which wouldn't then count towards the game limit for waivers, just to allow them to get through the weekend and evaluate where everything stands on Monday.

Another super crazy idea would be to only call-up one forward and play Trevor Daley as a forward. The Stars are carrying seven defensemen currently, with David Schlemko a healthy scratch last night.

A different scenario that could occur is the Stars rolling seven defensemen and only eleven forwards, though with having played the night before, I'd mark that down as a 'less likely' scenario.

Without knowing who's coming up or which crazy configuration we might see, it's really hard to predict what the lines for Dallas will look like tonight. Having played last night, there's not usually a morning skate -- and if there is, it's very optional -- so I wouldn't expect to see whatever starts the game to be the final look either, as Lindy Ruff shifts around what works line-wise throughout the game.

Assuming Morin, Ritchie, and McKenzie do get into the game tonight, a shot in the dark/back of the napkin type line combinations could be something like this:

Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Erik Cole
Colton Sceviour - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie - Vernon Fiddler - Brett Richie
Travis Moen - Shawn Horcoff - Travis Morin

John Klingberg - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Jyrki Jokipakka
Jason Demers - Jordie Benn

Jhonas Enroth
Kari Lehtonen

With Enroth reportedly getting a start this weekend, we're expecting him to man the pipes tonight. Though, given everything that happened last night and how sharp Lehtonen looked in the shutout, it's possible Ruff could change his mind and go with the hot glove.

Basically, everything with the Stars is TBD right now, so check back later for updates.

The familiar Colorado Avalanche don't have as many question marks. They should roll something similar to their last game:

Alex Tanguay - Matt Duchene - Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Nathan MacKinnon
Cody McLeod - John Mitchell - Dennis Everberg
Maxime Talbot - Marc-Andre Cliche - Daniel Briere

Jan Hejda - Zach Redmond
Tyson Barrie - Nate Guenin
Brad Stuart - Nick Holden

Semyon Varlamov
Reto Berra

With the Avalanche trailing the Stars now by five points, and eight points out of the last wild card playoff spot, expect to see Varlamov in net for the divisional matchup. They'll also be rested, as their last game was on Thursday at the Can.

Their power play hasn't been clicking at all, going 0-for-31 in their last ten games played. They've also allowed several short handed goals, so that's one thing the Stars could take advantage of.

Puck drop in Colorado is at 8 PM CST, and the game represents a four point swing in standings. With the Stars getting blasted by the Avalanche in several of their earlier matchups, and coming off of a hollow win the night before, the real testament and will of this team will be tested tonight....let's see what they've got in them.