After blowing an early 2-0 lead against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night en route to a 3-2 overtime loss, the Colorado Avalanche head to Texas for a game against the Dallas Stars. With both teams separated by a single point in the standings, the stakes are unusually high for a mid January game.
The Stars have won three of their past four games thanks to an offensive explosion. Four forwards on the Dallas roster have scored at least five goals in their past 10 games, with center Mike Ribeiro taking over the lead with 17 goals on the season. Jamie Benn continues his breakout season with a team high 29 assists, along with 42 points on the season. The Dallas goaltending -- normally a strength -- has been unsteady the past few games. Kari Lehtonen has an .888 SV% his past six games, far below his career average.
For Colorado, Semyon Varlamov will return to net after a disappointing first period against Nashville earlier this week. The young goaltender has already surpassed his career high for starts in a season and is still struggling to finde consistency. Offensively, Ryan O "Reilly has been carrying the load for the Avalanche. He has five goals in the past 10 games to add to his team lead in goals, assists, and total points.
The puck drops at 1:00 p.m. MDT for this matinee game.
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Stars blog Defending Big D.