Stars Look to Keep Rolling Against Avalanche

Monday, 01.27.2014 / 2:07 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars will look to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games when they take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight at American Airlines Center.

The Stars have outscored their opponents 14-1 during their three-game winning streak. Their last win was the most impressive of the bunch, a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“It’s a confidence booster. They are one of the top teams in the league. We limited their chances,” said Stars forward Rich Peverley. “We have to have that mentality tonight [against Colorado] to go at them, take their time and space away and hopefully that will help us.”

This will be the fifth and final meeting between the Stars and Avalanche this season. Colorado has won three of the first four games.

“We know they are a good team, they play a fast game and they’ve got some pretty skilled forwards,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We have to find a way to slow them down. We have to keep doing the things we’ve been doing – get pucks deep, limit our turnovers.”

The three straight wins have helped the Stars make up a little ground in the playoff race. They enter tonight’s action six points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stars can’t afford to let their guard down after Saturday’s big win over Pittsburgh.

“Approach it the same way we approached it after beating Minnesota, after Toronto and after Pittsburgh. It’s enjoy it and then focus on the next team knowing that we’ve got a ways to go,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ve been able to put those previous games away. We don’t want to live in the past. We’ve got to live for today. We know what they bring and we’ve got to scheme for them knowing that they’re fast and knowing that we’re going to have to match that emotional level we were at last game to win this game.”

Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for the Stars this morning, so it looks like he will be in goal tonight. No other lineup changes are expected for the Stars. The forward line combinations and defense pairs at this morning’s skate were the same as those used in Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. Kevin Connauton is expected to be a healthy scratch.

Semyon Varlamov

Lehtonen NHL’s ‘First Star’ of the week

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was named the NHL’s ‘First Star’ of the week after posting a 3-1-0 record, 1.25 goals against average, .944 save percentage and two shutouts last week. Lehtonen won his final three games of the week, allowing just one goal on 67 shots and posting shutouts in two of those three games.

Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist and Carolina’s Andrej Sekera were the other two stars of the week.

Quotable

“I like to talk about the energy and emotion you can put in a game. I like to talk about the passion. The last thing I said is I want our fans to be proud of the way we play. Just answer that question when you walk in the locker room after a game, those people that watched me tonight, are they going to be proud of the way we played? And if you can say yes to that and you come out on the losing end, sometimes that happens.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff on last Tuesday’s team meeting just prior to the Minnesota game that kicked off the team’s current winning streak

Monday’s game

Who: Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel
Cody EakinRyan Garbutt
Ray WhitneyVernon FiddlerErik Cole
Rich Peverley - Shawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – Alex Tanguay
Ryan O’Reilly – Matt Duchene – Jamie McGinn
Maxime Talbot – Nathan MacKinnon – John Mitchell
Cody McLeod – Marc-Andre Cliché – Patrick Bordeleau

Jan Hejda – Erik Johnson
Nick Holden – Andre Benoit
Ryan Wilson – Tyson Barrie

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Sceviour 1 1 1 1 2
J. Benn 1 1 0 0 1
T. Seguin 1 1 0 1 1
T. Daley 1 0 1 1 1
J. Benn 1 0 1 0 1
A. Chiasson 1 0 1 -2 1
C. Eakin 1 0 1 1 1
V. Nichushkin 1 0 1 2 1
R. Whitney 1 0 0 0 0
S. Gonchar 1 0 0 0 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 0 1 0 .886 4.07
 
 
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