Stars, Avs bring mixed feelings into matchup
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The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche have very different feelings heading into their matchup in Denver on Friday night.
The Stars are feeling good after rallying to beat the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, while a banged-up Colorado team is coming off a game in which it squandered a two-goal lead in the third period to the Florida Panthers and lost 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday.
"That's a game where we need to get two points," said Avalanche forward Matt Nieto, who scored the first goal of the night. "We are two goals ahead ... in a really good spot at home and that's a game where we have to walk away with two points."
Colorado has a chance to do that and salvage at least one win on its three-game homestand that has been marked by bad news. The Avalanche lost captain Gabriel Landeskog to a serious lower-body injury that coach Jared Bednar said will cost the forward "significant time," and Tuesday third-line forward Colin Wilson went down with an injury.
Wilson didn't practice Thursday and his status for the upcoming two-game road trip is questionable. Bednar said the team will likely call up a forward before Saturday's game at the Arizona Coyotes.
Defenseman Nikita Zadorov missed practice on Thursday. Bednar said he was a "dinged up" in the overtime loss to Florida.
Zadorov drew the ire of the Panthers after his hit on center Jayce Hawryluk early in the third. He later traded slashes with forward Dryden Hunt, and then the two fought, drawing 10-minute misconduct penalties.
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon hasn't slowed down despite losing his linemates, Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, to injury. He had a goal and an assist Wednesday night and extended his point streak to 12 games. It's the longest point streak to start a season since the Avalanche moved to Denver.
Colorado's strong start to the season has it in a good position in the standings, but it has lost two in a row for the first time this year. The Stars have stumbled out of the gate, and when they fell behind the Wild 3-0 they started hearing boos from the home crowd.
Alexander Radulov's hat trick helped Dallas rally to win 6-3 and may give the Stars momentum coming into Denver. Goaltender Ben Bishop was pulled after the first period and coach Jim Montgomery said he talked with him.
"Those are things that you're going to discuss because you don't want anything to fester," Montgomery told The Dallas Morning News. "Bish actually came and saw me before; I didn't know he was here before I had a chance to go get him. Then him and (goalie coach Jeff Reese) will keep doing the great work they've done together since Bish has been here. We know Bish is our No. 1. We know Bish is going to do a great job for us."
Stars forward Blake Comeau won't face his former team Friday night while he recovers from a knee injury suffered in the season opener. Montgomery said Comeau could be ready for Saturday night's game against Montreal, but if he isn't, he should be cleared by the time the Avalanche visit Dallas on Tuesday.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 1, 2019