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2011 Avalanche Schedule: Avs Host Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks This Weekend

Colorado begins a long homestand this weekend.

The Colorado Avalanche return to Denver on Friday to begin a crucial eight-game homestand. The Avs have struggled over their last ten games and need to start the turnaround with this homestand to get back into the thick of the Northwest Division race. Division-leading Minnesota is on a long homestand of its own, which may add a little sense of urgency for Colorado.

The weekend slate:

Nov. 18: vs. Dallas Stars (7:00 p.m. MT, ALT)
The Stars have lost three straight coming in, but they'll have the advantage of a couple extra days rest over the Avs. Dallas hasn't played since Tuesday, while Colorado was in action on Thursday night. Special teams could be interesting in this game, as both teams have been outstanding with the man advantage but mediocre (in Dallas' case) or very poor (in Colorado's case) penalty killers.

Nov. 20: vs. San Jose Sharks (6:00 p.m. MT, ALT)
To stick with the special teams theme, both of these clubs boast top-five power play units and bottom-five penalty kills. This is San Jose's first road game since Oct. 31.

For updates on the Avalanche, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of the team, head over to Mile High Hockey. For news and notes from around the league, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.