After a disappointing visit to Minnesota, the Dallas Stars are hoping a couple days of rest will allow them to recover.
The Stars failed in the goals scored department as well as the goals against department in a defeat to the division rival, Minnesota Wild, which saw Dallas give up 5 goals, while only netting one. This marked the first time this season that the Stars gave up more than 4 goals and were held to less than 2 goals.
The Stars need a kick-start in the game tonight which will be against the hottest team in the NHL right now.
The Stars face the Colorado Avalanche, one of the two teams that remain undefeated this season (the other being the San Jose Sharks).
Keys to success:
Figuring out a way to throw Avs goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, out of sync is essential. Varlamov currently hoists a 1.00 goals against average this season throughout his four starts. Whether this comes from peppering him with shots, or getting forwards to disturb his area, the Stars will need to figure out a way to find the back of the net.
The Avalanche have also been successful in finding ways to score. Led by rookie Nathan MacKinnon (with six points), the Avalanche have managed to score 3.6 goals per game thus far, compared to the 2.25 goals per game that the Dallas Stars currently have. With the Stars’ top goaltender Kari Lehtonen still out due to injury, Dan Ellis will need to improve his play. Ellis has a 4.24 goals against average, and 0.898 save percentage compared to Varlamov’s 0.970 save percentage.
The depth of the Avalanche has shown strengths thus far, and it will need to be matched by the Dallas Stars tonight. Dallas’ third line which consists of Antoine Roussel, Shawn Horcoff, and Erik Cole needs to step up today. The three have combined for two points this season, one assist from Roussel and one goal from Cole.
Valeri Nichushkin is being replaced by Lane MacDermid on the fourth line after having a disappointing start to the season, only tallying one shot on goal.