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Stars-Avalanche Preview

The Associated Press

While the injuries keep piling up for the Colorado Avalanche, the goals have suddenly become plentiful, too.

The Avalanche will try to win their third straight and remain unbeaten at home Monday night when they take on the Dallas Stars, who will be without their leading scorer.

After totaling one goal in three straight losses during a four-game road trip, Colorado (4-4-0) responded with a 6-3 win at Calgary on Thursday and a 3-1 home win over Edmonton two days later.

The Avalanche, though, sustained another setback Saturday when defenseman Ryan Wilson went down in the second period with a leg injury. He won't play Monday and is out indefinitely.

Colorado has already had to move forward without Steve Downie (ACL), Gabriel Landeskog (head, leg) and David Jones (knee). Downie and Landeskog are out for an extended period, while Jones is day-to-day.

P.A. Parenteau and Paul Stastny have helped pick up the slack, combining for six goals in the last two games.

"We had a rough run there," Parenteau said. "We're going to have to live with it. Some of our guys are going to have to chip in a little more."

Stastny has 11 goals and 20 points in his last 18 games against Dallas, and he'll look to help the Avalanche keep it rolling at home, where they've outscored opponents 10-2 while winning their first three games.

"In order to have a lot of success in this league, you have to be a dominant home team," coach Joe Sacco said. "We're off to a good start with a long way to go here. It is the way we want to play at home."

Despite its improved production, Colorado has yet to get anything going on the power play. After going 0 for 6 against the Oilers, the Avalanche rank last in the NHL at 2 for 27 (7.4 percent).

Dallas (3-5-1) has killed 24 of 26 penalties over its last five games, but is still 1-4-0 in that stretch following a 2-0 loss at Phoenix on Saturday. The Stars have struggled to score in all of their road games, totaling four goals while going 1-4-0 in opponents' rinks.

They have injury concerns as well, especially with Ray Whitney expected to miss at least four weeks because of a broken foot. Whitney had six points to lead the Stars before going on the injured list Saturday.

Michael Ryder has a team-high four goals, and has six along with five assists in 10 career games against the Avalanche.

With 16 goals in nine games, the Stars rank near the bottom of the league in scoring. They've also struggled on the power play, converting only 2 of 24 chances in their last eight contests.

Dallas, however, had only 41 seconds with the man advantage Saturday, while Phoenix spent more than 11 minutes on the power play. The Stars' 51 minor penalties are the second-most in the league.

"If you're going to be killing penalties, you're not going to get many chances," Stars defenseman Trevor Daley said. "It's been kind of a theme around here."

It doesn't figure to get any easier against the Avalanche, who are 15 for 15 on the penalty kill at home. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov has been outstanding in Denver, allowing two goals on 88 shots in three wins for a 0.67 goals-against average.

Counterpart Kari Lehtonen has also been sharp in Colorado throughout his career, going 3-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA in four starts there.

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