9:06 pm
December 15

Stars @ Avalanche

Who will WIN this matchup?

Dallas Stars (16-13-3)

@ Colorado Avalanche (17-9-6)


Starting Goalies:

Anton Khudobin (DAL): Confirmed

Semyon Varlamov (COL): Confirmed


Current odds:

Dallas Stars: (+140)

Colorado Avalanche: (-160)


 The Dallas Stars look to salvage something from a frustrating road trip as they prepare for the finale of the four-game trek Saturday against the offensively gifted Colorado Avalanche. Dallas led early at Vegas before being defeated 4-2 in the opener of the trip, gave up the final five tallies in a 6-3 loss at Anaheim and scored the first goal on Thursday before suffering a 3-2 setback at San Jose. Dallas captain Jamie Benn hopes to snap out of a mini-slump (one point in four games) when he plays in his 700th NHL game on Saturday, and Colorado will be looking for a better defensive effort after permitting 25 goals while going 1-3-1 in its last five contests.

• The Avalanche forged a tie with 6:50 left in the third period on the power play before giving up a short-handed goal in overtime to suffer a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Friday. Mikko Rantanen notched an assist in the setback to extend his point streak to 13 games (six goals, 18 assists) and leads the NHL with 53 points – five more than teammate Nathan MacKinnon.

• Dallas has been outscored 37-31 in the third period this season and rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who scored in the final session on Thursday, told reporters: “I don’t know what’s wrong with the last period, but we’ve got to figure it out and play better than this.” The 19-year-old Heiskanen has contributed three goals and two assists in the last four games to lead all defensemen on the team with 17 points. Tyler Seguin has notched just one of his team-high 27 points in the last five games and Benn (team-best 12 goals) is next with 25.

• Philipp Grubauer turned aside 24 shots Friday and Semyon Varlamov is likely to be in net on Saturday after giving up 14 goals on 73 shots in his last three appearances. Colorado, which is third in the league in goals per game, has not been able to score itself out of problems lately despite the Rantanen-MacKinnon-Gabriel Landeskog trio (21 points in five games) continuing to put up points. Tyson Jost snapped his six-game point drought with an assist on Friday and is slated to play his 100th NHL contest Saturday.

• Colorado D Erik Johnson needs one assist to reach 200 for his career but has gone nine games without one.

• Dallas recalled RW Denis Gurianov, the 12th pick in the 2015 draft, from Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday.

• The Avalanche have won four of the last five meetings, including a 3-2 triumph on Nov. 24.

StreakSmarter Pick
Colorado Avalanche