Preview Game 80: Stars vs Avalanche

Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche

Thursday April 7, 7.30PM CT

Here we are now, the climax of the season and we’ve reached the true must-win games. With three games left, the Dallas Stars (40-28-11, 91 points) play host to the Colorado Avalanche (29-42-8, 66 points) tonight before traveling to Colorado to play the Avalanche at their home tomorrow. A fierce rival back in the ’90s, the Avalanche have fallen on hard times but have had the Stars number this year and have a chance to spoil their season.

Dallas currently sits in the tenth spot in the West, four points behind both Anaheim and Chicago. Dallas has one game in hand on both teams and sports a much easier schedule. Anaheim must play the Los Angeles Kings twice while Chicago must play the Detroit Red Wings twice. In order to even have a chance to make the playoffs, the Stars will need either the Ducks or the Blackhawks to lose both of their games so start rooting for the Red Wings and the Kings.

.About the Stars:

  • Kari Lehtonen makes another start in goal for this game. He started one of the previous games against the Avalanche this year and took a shootout loss 4-3.
  • Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back) are out for this game. Adam Burrish (leg) has a possibilty of returning and is a game-time decision for this game.
  • The Stars are 0-1-1 against the Avalanche this year, losing 5-0 on the road and a 4-3 shootout loss at home.
  • Dallas has seven goals in their last two games, equal to what they had in their previous five games combined. The recent uptick in goals has led to wins.
  • Dallas has a 21-11-8 home record this year. They are 6-8-3 against the Northwest Division.

About the Avalanche:

  • Colorado has a whole hospital ward of injured players. They will be without F Paul Stasny (leg), Tomas Fleischmann (blood clots), TJ Galiardi (arm), Peter Mueller (concussion), D John-Michael Liles (concussion), Kyle Quincey (shoulder), Kyle Cumiskey (neck), and Cameron Gaunce (finger).
  • F David Jones and Matt Hunwick are doubtful for the game and D Adam Foote is a possibility to return. Foote recently announced that he would retire at season’s end.
  • Goalie Peter Budaj is 2-0-0 against the Stars this year with a .950 save percentage.
  • Winger Milan Hejduk has three goals and an assist in the season series.
  • Colorado has a 14-22-4 record on the road and a 4-13-1 record against the Pacific Division.
  • Colorado has only won four times in their past 39 games. Three of the wins were shootout wins and the last regulation win was against St. Louis on Feb. 22.
  • Since Dec. 21, Colorado has only won two games against potential playoff teams. One overtime win against Vancouver (Jan. 18) and a shootout win over Phoenix (Apr. 1).


Record 0-1-1 2-0-0
Game 1 at Colorado  Dallas – 0 Colorado- 5
Game 2 at Dallas (Shootout) Dallas – 3 Colorado – 4
Shots on Goal Per Game    30 35.5
Penalty Minutes Per Game        13.5 14.5
Power Play    1 for 8 (13%)    2 for 7 (29%)  
Last 10 Games 3-4-3 3-7-0