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By Eddie Richard
The Colorado Avalanche will take on their division rival, the Dallas Stars, in their second of three round-robin games. The Avalanche are fresh off their buzzer-beater win against another division rival, the St. Louis Blues. The Stars are coming off a 5-3 loss against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Avalanche will be the away team and will wear their away white jerseys. The Stars will be the home team and will wear their home dark jerseys and will have the last change.
The Avalanche and Stars have played four games against each other. The Avalanche went winless with a 0-2-2 record. The first time they met was on Nov. 1, 2019, and the Stars won 2-1. The second time they met was on Nov. 5, 2019, and the Stars won 4-1. The next game was on Dec. 28, 2019, and the Stars won 3-2 in a shoot-out. Lastly, they met on Jan. 14, 2019, and the Stars 3-2 in overtime.
The Avalanche power play was atrocious against the Stars with them only scoring one goal on 18 chances. The Avalanche have scored only two power-play goals out of ten chances since the return to play started. They need to start finding some chemistry on the power play in these round-robin games because not scoring consistently can have detrimental effects in the elimination playoffs rounds. Look what happened to the Nashville Predators last season. The Avalanche only gave up two goals on the Stars’ 17 power-play chances.
Players To Watch:
Roope Hintz scored two goals and one assist in three games played against the Avalanche this season. He assisted on Corey Perry’s goal in his last game against the Golden Knights. However, has been a streaky player this season and they cannot allow him to get going. Perry is a pest and will be doing Perry things. Especially in front of the net. The Avalanche defenders need to clear the traffic and not get sucked into Perry’s antics.
Cale Makar has four assists against the Stars. He needs to help create chances from the point. Nazem Kadri should be fired up still after his buzzer-beater game-winning goal. The Avalanche will look to him to ride that momentum and to try to get the Stars players off their game. Andre Burakovsky took a puck to the face and the announcers mentioned he might have lost teeth. No official word on his status so not sure if he will play or be “unfit to play.”
The Stars started Ben Bishop against the Golden Knights. He gave up three consecutive goals in their loss. He faced the Avalanche three times in the season and allowed five goals. Anton Khudobin made 38 saves in the Stars 2-1 win on Nov.1. I expect Bishop back in net for the Stars as he is their number one.
Philipp Grubauer has started all four games against the Stars and has allowed 12 games against the Stars. Grubauer played great against the Blues and gave them an opportunity to win. Coach Bednar plans to use both goalies but it would be hard not to ride the hot goalie and play Grubauer. Pavel Francouz has not played since the exhibition game against the Minnesota Wild and did not play any games against the Stars in the season.
The Avalanche are riding the momentum coming to this game. They are undefeated (2-0) and seem to play better in each game. They need to find the back of the net on the power play (Yes, I am going to repeat it). They also need to get on the board first and hold on to the lead. The Stars scored first in three games and won those three. Not to sounds like the typical NHL fan, but they need to shoot the puck more, especially on the power play, and not be so cute with the puck.
The game will be on NBCSN at 3:30 PM PT/6:30 ET.
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August 5th, 2020