NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, October 15th
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (2-2-0) at Colorado Avalanche (5-0-0), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars will try to become the first team this
season to hand the Colorado Avalanche a loss when they visit Patrick Roy's
unbeaten club on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center.
Roy has yet to suffer a loss in his debut season behind an NHL bench, leading
the Avalanche to five straight victories to begin the 2013-14 campaign.
Colorado began the season-opening hot streak with consecutive home wins before
going a perfect 3-0 on a recent road trip.
Colorado's most recent triumph came Saturday in Washington, as the Avs pounded
the Capitals by a 5-1 count, the same score Dallas wound up losing to
Minnesota by later that night.
Alex Tanguay scored twice to back a 40-save effort from Semyon Varlamov in the
rout against the Capitals. Rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon added his first
career NHL goal to the cause, as Colorado began a season 5-0 for the first
time since the lockout-shortened 1995 campaign, the franchise's final season
in Quebec before the Nordiques moved to Denver. The last time the franchise
began a season with six straight wins was during a club-record 7-0 start in
Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn also lit the lamp for Colorado on Saturday, with
Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny and Andre Benoit each recording a pair of
assists in the rout.
Varlamov, a former Capital who was facing his ex-team for the first time since
being traded to Colorado by Washington in July of 2011, continued an
outstanding stretch by Avalanche goalies with his latest performance. Colorado
has surrendered only four goals during its season-opening tear, with Varlamov
going 4-0-0 with a 0.80 goals against average over that span.
"He's playing outstanding," said Roy. "What I like about Varly is he's under
control. He's always square to the shooters, he gets out of the net, he's
playing with a lot of confidence and he deserves it."
Varlamov will make his fifth start of the season on Tuesday. He is 1-3-2 with
a lofty 3.98 GAA in six career outings against the Stars.
Dallas is 2-2-0 on the season after dropping Saturday's 5-1 decision in
Minnesota. The setback came one night after the Stars recorded a 4-1 victory
in Winnipeg to begin a three-game road trip. Justin Fontaine sparked the Wild
with a goal 12 seconds into the contest and Minnesota went on to score four
unanswered goals in the rout from Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota won the opening face-off and dumped the puck into Dallas' zone.
Brenden Dillon lost the puck to Matt Cooke, who found a cutting Fontaine. The
25-year old slapped a backhand past Dan Ellis while falling to the ice.
"Ill-advised play in our own zone," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "That gave
them life right off the bat."
Jamie Benn scored the lone Stars' goal, while Ellis surrendered all five goals
on 36 shots. Ellis is expected to handle the bulk of goaltending duties with
regular No. 1 Kari Lehtonen currently on the shelf with a lower-body injury.
Lehtonen was placed on injured reserve on Monday, meaning he will have to miss
at least the next two games.
Dallas recalled Jack Campbell from the Texas Stars of the AHL to serve as the
backup to Ellis. Campbell, the 11th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft,
has never seen action in an NHL game.
The Stars won two of three meetings against Colorado last season, but the
clubs have split the last six encounters overall. Dallas has claimed three of
the past five matchups in Denver.
10/15 10:53:58 ET