Avalanche at Stars
The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche have recorded two wins apiece heading into the finale of their season series on Saturday at American Airlines Center. The Stars skated to their fifth straight home win over the Avalanche with a 3-1 triumph on Oct. 14 and posted a 7-3 victory in Colorado on Dec. 3.
Tyler Seguin collected a goal and an assist in that first meeting with the Avalanche and recorded a two-goal performance in the last matchup to give him six points (three goals, three assists) in the season series. Seguin, who joined defenseman John Klingberg in being named to the All-Star Game, entered the break with a flourish by collecting three goals and three assists during his four-game point streak. While Dallas has won two straight, Colorado has climbed back into contention with a season-best five consecutive victories to highlight a 7-2-1 stretch. Nathan MacKinnon, who is heading to his second straight All-Star Game, scored a goal and set up two others in a 7-2 rout versus Minnesota on Saturday to give him 12 points (three goals, nine assists) during his five-game point streak.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Altitude2 (Colorado), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (22-16-3): Jonathan Bernier has stepped up with fellow goaltender Semyon Varlamov nursing a groin injury, turning aside 116 of 121 shots during his last four appearances - all victories. The 29-year-old Bernier will see even more ice time as coach Jared Bednar told reporters Friday that Varlamov will be sidelined at least two weeks. "The plan is to be cautious with (Varlamov)," Bednar said, "and then turn him loose for the second half."
ABOUT THE STARS (24-16-3): The waiting game continues for defenseman Marc Methot, who did not practice on Friday and is expected to be sidelined at least another two weeks as he recovers from a knee injury. "We skated early in the week and there was still some soreness, so he had another procedure done to eliminate the soreness so that he can be hopefully like (Martin) Hanzal where he’s 100 percent," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "But I can't give you the exact date, but he's going to be evaluated in about 10 days from now and then we'll know the exact date that he's going to be ready to play." Speaking of defensemen, Klingberg set up two goals in the last matchup versus Colorado and ranks first among NHL blue-liners with a team-best 33 assists and 39 points in 43 games.
1. Dallas G Ben Bishop, who is a Denver native, has won four of his last five overall and six of seven with two shutouts at American Airlines Center.
2. The Avalanche's third-ranked penalty kill has thwarted 14 of 15 short-handed situations versus the Stars this season.
3. Colorado has scored 10 power-play goals in its last seven contests.