Avalanche-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

The Dallas Stars don't have to wait long for the chance to avenge their most recent defeat against the Colorado Avalanche.

After bouncing back from that loss, the Stars try to extend the Avalanche's road slide to nine games Saturday in their second meeting in four nights.

In the mix for a playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference, Dallas (14-13-3) has won two of three following an 0-3-1 slide. After falling 4-3 at Colorado (11-14-4) on Wednesday, the Stars won 2-0 at Los Angeles a night later.

Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney each scored in the third period and Kari Lehtonen made a season-high 40 saves against the Kings.

"This is when your goalie comes and gets you,'' coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Saves you in the first 40 and we picked it up in the last 20."

Lehtonen, who saw 34 shots at Colorado, has faced at least 40 four times this year. Dating to last season, he's 16-4-1 when opponents record at least 35.

Jagr and Whitney, meanwhile, each scored for the second straight game and together for the third time in 2013. In a season-opening win over Phoenix, they became the fourth pair of teammates 40 years or older to score in the same contest since 1942-43.

"Age doesn't matter. It only matters how hard you work,'' said the 41-year-old Jagr, who leads Dallas with 12 goals and 22 points.

Whitney, who turns 41 in May, has three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. He has two and eight assists in the last seven against the Avalanche.

Jagr's 46 points (20 goals) against the Avalanche franchise are his most against any West opponent.

Colorado snapped a season-high four-game skid with Wednesday's victory. Chuck Kobasew, Ryan O'Reilly and Mark Olver each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who are toiling at the bottom of the West.

"It feels great to get a win. The last 10 days or so hasn't been fun around here," said Kobasew, who has two goals in three games. "Hopefully now that we've got a win under our belt we can get our confidence back."

A victory away from home would certainly boost the collective confidence of the Avalanche, who have allowed an average of 3.4 non-shootout goals during an 0-5-3 road slide. Colorado, which is 2-9-3 away from the Pepsi Center, endured an 0-8-1 road skid last season.

Avs coach Joe Sacco might again go with the same lineup from Wednesday when he sat forwards Jamie McGinn and David Jones, who have combined for one point in nine March contests. He inserted Olver, who was a healthy scratch the previous seven games.

"We had to make some changes. Changes we felt would help our lineup and that's what I did,'' Sacco said. "There comes a point where you wait around for people to get the job done and after a while you have to make a decision, hard decisions."

Colorado's Matt Duchene has a team-leading 31 points but none in his last three against the Stars - all at home. He has three goals and three assists in his last two at Dallas.

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