There are two preseason games left until the Avalanche opens up its 2013-14 season, and tonight it will face a familiar opponent in the Dallas Stars.
Colorado's Thursday night game in Dallas will be the second half of a home-and-home series after the two clubs played Tuesday in Denver.
The Stars used four second-period goals to top the Avalanche 5-3 in the first game of the series, but Colorado didn't go down without a fight as it showed some resiliency by getting to within one score in the third period before Dallas added an empty-net tally late to seal the win.
Defenseman Erik Johnson said these final two preseason games are going to show the players what they still need to work on before Opening Night on Oct. 2.
"We have two games left with pretty much our final roster so these will be good indicators of where we will be at and where we need to get to," Johnson said. "There is still a lot of work to be done."
The Avs took 27 players on its two-game road trip that will conclude on Saturday in Frozen Fury XV against the Los Angeles Kings in Las Vegas.
Colorado will need to reassign four more players before opening night so it can get down to the league mandated 23-man roster. Because of the looming roster cuts and with only two more games to prepare, expect a high-tempo contest by players on the bubble and by veterans with spots already secured.
"You try and create good habits and you try and get yourself ready for the first game of the season," said Alex Tanguay, a 13-year NHL veteran. "Twenty games into the season, no one is going to remember our record in preseason, but certainly its important for yourself to get ready. We're winding down here so we'll probably pick up the pace of play here and get ourselves ready for that first game."
Puck drop for tonight's game at American Airlines Center is set for 6:30 (MT). There will be no television broadcast or online stream of the game. The game will be broadcast live on the Altitude Radio Network (AM 950 in Denver) and online at http://www.cruisinoldies950.com/ListenOnline.aspx (U.S. only).
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