|National Hockey League|
· Current Odds
· Live Odds
· Daily Schedule
· Yearly Schedule
· Standings - East
· Standings - West
· College Hockey
Stars try to hand Avs first setback of season
(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 1985-86.
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 11:04:37 ET