NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 4th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (3-5-1) at Colorado Avalanche (4-4-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars know they have been making too many trips to the penalty box and it has resulted in the losses starting to pile up.
Hoping to stay more disciplined, the Stars try on Monday night to hand the Colorado Avalanche their first home defeat of the season.
Dallas has been shorthanded 22 times in its last four games, though it was down a man just twice in Friday's 4-3 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The Stars' offense hardly got a chance to stay on track in a return engagement in the desert on Saturday, skating shorthanded seven times in a 2-0 loss.
Though the Coyotes scored just one time on the power play in the game, the Stars only had one chance of their own on the man advantage and were dealt their fifth loss in six games.
"If you're going to kill (penalties) the whole night, you're not going to get many opportunities," noted Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley. "It's not just tonight; it's been like a theme around here. Killing a lot of penalties doesn't work.
"We've got to get it out quickly. It's killing us and we're losing games because of it. It's unfortunate, because five-on-five I think we're a pretty good team."
Richard Bachman gave starter Kari Lehtonen a breather and made his first start of the campaign, taking a 32-save loss.
While forward Ray Whitney, the club's leading scorer with six points, was placed on injured reserve before the game, Dallas is hoping that center Derek Roy will be able to return on Monday after missing the past five games with a groin injury.
Saturday kicked off a span of three straight and six of seven for Dallas on the road, where it is 1-4-0 this season.
On the other hand, the Avalanche have won all three of their games in Colorado this season, including a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. P.A. Parenteau and Jamie McGinn scored 3:29 apart in the second period and Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves.
While Parenteau netted his team-leading sixth goal of the season, McGinn potted his first.
"We knew we had to come out big tonight, and I'm glad we got a couple after that bad start," said McGinn.
Paul Stastny added a late score and Matt Duchene posted two assists for the Avalanche, who have won two in a row since losing three straight. They took the opener of a four-game homestand.
Monday's game will mark a milestone for forward Milan Hejduk, who is slated to become the first player to skate in 1,000 career regular season games with the Avalanche.
Only one other player has ever skated in 1,000 games with the franchise as Joe Sakic appeared in 1,378 games. He played 508 of those contests when the club was located in Quebec and another 870 after the move to Colorado.
"When I started in 1998 and played my first NHL game, I never thought that I would get to this number," Hejduk told Colorado's official website. "Playing for one organization, staying here in Denver for all these years. These days that doesn't happen that often so it is definitely a special number and a special game."
The 36-year-old Hejduk was a fourth-round pick by the Nordiques in 1994 and made his NHL debut in the 1998-99 campaign, the club's fourth season in Denver. He has posted 371 goals and 426 assists for 797 points in his career and is set to become the 30th player in league history to skate in 1,000 games while playing with just one franchise.
The Avs went 2-1-1 versus the Stars last season and have won seven of the last 10 at home in this series.
02/04 10:37:50 ET