STARS (13-12-3) at AVALANCHE (10-14-4)
TV: FS-SW+, ALT
Last 10: Dallas 4-4-2; Colorado 3-6-1
Season series: This is the second of three meetings. Jamie Benn scored a pair of goals, including the winner, to give Dallas a 3-2 win at the Pepsi Center in the first encounter on Feb. 4.
Big story: Sitting just outside the crowded Western Conference playoff picture, Dallas ended a serious slide in its last outing and will look to improve its offensive consistency against a struggling Colorado team.
Stars: After Chicago handed the franchise its worst home loss since relocating from Minnesota in 1993, the Stars could only improve Monday against the Flames. And they did, racing out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from Erik Cole, Eric Nystrom and Loui Eriksson. Eriksson scored late in the third and Kari Lehtonen made 16 saves as Dallas held on for a 4-3 victory. The win ended a four-game losing streak during which Dallas was outscored 16-3.
"It was a big win. I thought we clawed our way a little bit to the surface here, we still got a few feet to go," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We were doing simple things to win the game, our leadership was real good throughout. We have to continue with that mindset."
Avalanche: Whatever brief glory Colorado enjoyed after ending Chicago’s unbeaten streak on March 8 has disappeared in the five games since. Over that span, the Avalanche have gone 1-4-0. On Monday, the Avalanche welcomed the Blackhawks back to the Pepsi Center. The Blackhawks were eager for revenge and they exacted it, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead they never relinquished.
"It's frustrating, but we're in this together," said captain Gabriel Landeskog. "We win together and we lose together. We have to dig ourselves out of this. It has to come from within. We have to be a better team at the start, especially at home. It sounds like a broken record, but [poor starts] are kind of killing us right now."
Who’s hot: Benn, the hero of the last matchup, has four assists in his last four games. Landeskog is on a three-game goal streak, the longest of his career.
Injury report: Ryan Garbutt (hand) and Aaron Rome (foot) are day-to-day for Dallas. … Colorado's Ryan Wilson has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury and was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday (retroactive to March 14). Steve Downie will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes rehabilitation after knee surgery.
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