Colorado Avalanche Second Round Game One Preview: Two-step tango in Texas vs. Dallas Stars

The first round has come and gone for both the Colorado Avalanche and dallas Stars. While it was easier for some and tougher for others, the two best teams in the Central Division and arguably the Western Conference meet in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Game One is tonight in Dallas with the home team looking to build off their gauntlet run against the Vegas Golden Knights. Meanwhile, the Avs will look to be the disturber and spoil it for the home fans in attendance. Nonetheless, this will be a showdown against two mighty teams kicking off Tuesday night.

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado has had a full week off after winning Game Five against the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 last Tuesday in Manitoba. Led by Mikko Rantanen’s two goals in the third period, he tied Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar for points in the first round, all with nine.

Valeri Nichushkin will also face his former team once again in the postseason, tied as the joint-top scorer in the playoffs with seven goals. His impact was missed dearly last season against the Seattle Kraken, and it showed in the first round this season. He will need to be up to the same caliber in the second round.

Avs-killer Joel Kiviranta was a member of the Stars the last time these two faced off in the postseason and will be looking to serve revenge against his former team. He will have to wait though, as he was still skating with a non-contact jersey at morning skate. Chris Wagner left morning skate early, meaning he will likely slot in his place with Nikolai Kovalenko coming out as well. Can the Avs continue their excellent run of form and start the series off on a strong foot?

Projected Lines

Valeri Nichushkin (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Casey Mittelstadt (37) - Zach Parise (9)
Miles Wood (28) - Ross Colton (20) - Brandon Duhaime (12)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Chris Wagner (14) - Yakov Trenin (73)

Devon Toews (7) - Cale Makar (8)
Sam Girard (49) - Josh Manson (42)
Jack Johnson (3) - Sean Walker (26)

Dallas Stars

Dallas has been playing consistently as of late, going all seven games against the Vegas Golden Knights. They just managed to eke ahead of the defending Stanley Cup Champions with a 2-1 win on Sunday night to set this matchup against the Avs.

Having been playing consistently and not getting any breaks, this perhaps helps the Stars. Colorado is not the best when they have long stretches of time off, and Dallas can take advantage of that. Plus, we still have not seen the best of the best from them so far this postseason.

While Wyatt Johnston has been on a tear and someone fans should watch, the likes of Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, and Matt Duchene have still not reached their potential in the playoffs. All three seem to love playing against the Avs, and will they bring a scoring touch to help the home team start with a series lead?

Projected Lines

Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Logan Stankoven (11)
Jamie Benn (14) - Wyatt Johnston (53) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Evgenii Dadonov (63) - Matt Duchene (95) - Tyler Seguin (91)
Radek Faksa (12) - Sam Steel (18) - Craig Smith (15)

Thomas Harley (55) - Miro Hiskanen (4)
Esa Lindell (23) - Chris Tanev (3)
Ryan Suter (20) - Nils Lundkvist (5)


No surprises here, as we’ll see each team’s top goaltender: Alexandar Georgiev for Colorado, and Jake Oettinger for Dallas.


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