Indianapolis Star
National Hockey League
Preview
Dallas at Colorado
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 15, 2018
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The Dallas Stars look to salvage something from a frustrating road trip as they prepare for the finale of the four-game trek Saturday against the offensively gifted Colorado Avalanche. Dallas led early at Vegas before being defeated 4-2 in the opener of the trip, gave up the final five tallies in a 6-3 loss at Anaheim and scored the first goal on Thursday before suffering a 3-2 setback at San Jose.

“We can’t be thinking where we are in the standings,” Stars forward Blake Comeau told the Dallas Morning News. “I think it’s going to be important that we finish this road trip off with a win. It’s another tough arena to play in against another really good team.” Dallas captain Jamie Benn hopes to snap out of a mini-slump (one point in four games) when he plays in his 700th NHL game on Saturday, and Colorado will be looking for a better defensive effort after permitting 25 goals while going 1-3-1 in its last five contests. The Avalanche forged a tie with 6:50 left in the third period on the power play before giving up a short-handed goal in overtime to suffer a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Friday. Mikko Rantanen notched an assist in the setback to extend his point streak to 13 games (six goals, 18 assists) and leads the NHL with 53 points - five more than teammate Nathan MacKinnon.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), Altitude (Colorado)

ABOUT THE STARS (16-13-3): Dallas has been outscored 37-31 in the third period this season and rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who scored in the final session on Thursday, told reporters: “I don’t know what’s wrong with the last period, but we’ve got to figure it out and play better than this.” The 19-year-old Heiskanen has contributed three goals and two assists in the last four games to lead all defensemen on the team with 17 points. Tyler Seguin has notched just one of his team-high 27 points in the last five games and Benn (team-best 12 goals) is next with 25.

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (17-9-6): Philipp Grubauer turned aside 24 shots Friday and Semyon Varlamov is likely to be in net on Saturday after giving up 14 goals on 73 shots in his last three appearances. Colorado, which is third in the league in goals per game, has not been able to score itself out of problems lately despite the Rantanen-MacKinnon-Gabriel Landeskog trio (21 points in five games) continuing to put up points. Tyson Jost snapped his six-game point drought with an assist on Friday and is slated to play his 100th NHL contest Saturday.

OVERTIME

1. Colorado D Erik Johnson needs one assist to reach 200 for his career but has gone nine games without one.

2. Dallas recalled RW Denis Gurianov, the 12th pick in the 2015 draft, from Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday.

3. The Avalanche have won four of the last five meetings, including a 3-2 triumph on Nov. 24.

PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Stars 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Dallas 16-13-3-0 L3 10-3-1-0 6-10-2-0 2-1-1-0 14-12-2-0 1-2-1-0
Colorado 17-9-5-1 L3 6-3-3-0 11-6-2-1 2-0-0-0 15-9-5-1 3-3-2-0
Last Meeting
Dallas Colorado
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/24/18 DAL 2 COL 3 29 33 0-2 36 27 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Dallas A. Radulov 2
Colorado N. MacKinnon 2
Goals Player  
Dallas J. Benn 1
Colorado J. Compher 1
Assists Player  
Dallas A. Radulov 2
Colorado E. Johnson 1
Saves Player  
Dallas A. Khudobin 33
Colorado S. Varlamov 27
Season
Total Points Player  
Dallas J. Benn 30
Colorado M. Rantanen 57
Goals Player  
Dallas J. Benn 15
Colorado G. Landeskog 21
Assists Player  
Dallas T. Seguin 20
Colorado M. Rantanen 42
Saves Player  
Dallas B. Bishop 561
Colorado S. Varlamov 665
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Off vs  Colorado Def
2.75 GF
3.03 GA
29.4 Shots
32 Shots
18 PP
25 PK
Colorado Off vs  Dallas Def
3.59 GF
2.72 GA
31.8 Shots
31 Shots
31 PP
15 PK