Tue, 07 Feb 2023

Rested Avalanche aim to subdue Stars

Field Level Media
26 Nov 2022, 23:55 GMT+10

A break early Friday morning gave the Colorado Avalanche, well, a break.

The Avalanche were prepared to play the Predators in Nashville on Friday afternoon before a water main break at Bridgestone Arena forced the game to be postponed to a later date. The NHL also postponed the Predators' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

So instead of hosting the Dallas Stars in Denver on Saturday in the second game of a back-to-back set, the Avalanche flew home and had a day off while Dallas rallied to force overtime before dropping a 5-4 decision to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. The Stars are on a seven-game point streak (4-0-3) despite the loss.

The unexpected day off gave Colorado a chance to heal a little. Mikko Rantanen took a stick to the face during a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Wednesday night, and Evan Rodrigues left the game with a lower-body injury and didn't play after the first intermission.

Coach Jared Bednar said Thursday that Rodrigues was day-to-day but there were indications he might not miss much time. The team assigned Anton Blidh and Sampo Ranta to the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League.

The downside of getting an extra day off is the Avalanche had more time to think about squandering a game to Vancouver. Colorado gave up two goals in the third period to lose in regulation and end a brief three-game winning streak.

"I didn't love our game (Wednesday) night. I didn't think we checked hard enough in the first period. It's a dangerous team," Bednar said after the loss. "There (are) some things obviously that I didn't love. It wasn't terrible at all times, but it wasn't to our standard."

The Avalanche have dropped their past two home games but have won three in a row on the road, including winning a shootout in Dallas on Monday night.

The Stars had to put in extra time to earn a point against Winnipeg on Friday, a point gained thanks to a red-hot Jason Robertson. The forward, who is riding a 14-game points streak (16 goals, 11 assists), scored two goals in a span of 1:52 late in the third period to force overtime.

Robertson, whose 18 goals lead the NHL, broke a tie with Dave Gagner for the team's longest points streak in history since the franchise moved to Dallas in 1993-94.

He has 34 points on the season, one behind Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid for the league lead.

"You know as well as I do, it doesn't really mean much to me," Robertson said. "I'm playing hockey. I pride myself on doing everything both ways. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of guys tonight."

The comeback has become standard for the Stars. They erased a three-goal deficit against Chicago to win 6-4 on Wednesday night.

"We don't want to be putting ourselves in these situations, but I liked the fight, liked the compete right until the end there," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "Hopefully, that turns out to be a big point."

Dallas wrapped up a 2-0-2 homestand and now heads on the road for two games to try to stay atop the Central Division.

--Field Level Media

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