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Morning Skate: Stars Begin Home Cooking Turkey Week Against Defending Champ Avalanche

After 11 of the first 17 games on the road, the Dallas Stars are due some home cooking. And just in time for American Thanksgiving, they are getting it.

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The Dallas Stars are due for some home cooking. And with American Thanksgiving right around the corner, they are finally going to get it. 

After 11 of the first 17 games came on the road, the Stars are set to play the next three and eight of the next ten in front of their home crowd. 

In the first game on this four-game homestand, Dallas overcame adversity to beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Saturday. But their visitors on Monday will be a whole new challenge. 

The Colorado Avalanche are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They are division rivals. They are three points behind Dallas for the top spot in the Central. They have former Stars on the roster. Do I need to keep going? 

“These division games are always four-point games,” DeBoer said. “And you want to make sure you are taking advantage of those head-to-head opportunities. This is a team that we know is going to be there at the end of the season and fighting for a division title, and we want to be there with them.” 

“For sure it is. It’s an easy motivator,” he added. “That’s real that you have a target on your back when you are the defending Stanley Cup Champion and everyone wants to say they knocked you off.” 

In the game on Saturday and for most of the month, Jamie Benn was a factor. The Stars captain finished the game with two goals and one assist, boosting him atop the league in November with eight goals and nine assists, tied with Jason Robertson. 

"Every time I showed up at work this summer after I took the job, he was the first guy in the gym," Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. "He was the first guy at training, he was the first guy trying to get quicker. Nobody put more work in than him coming into this season. I think you get what you put in sometimes. He's playing fantastic."

With Roope Hintz out, Dallas was forced to shuffle things within their forward groups. Benn played mostly on a line with Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment. 

It is the first real taste of Benn and Seguin together that we have seen this season and the experiment produced excellent results. Seguin recorded two assists, Marchment a goal and an assist, totaling seven points for the trio. 

Dallas will be in the same situation tonight, with multiple players still a game-time decision due to injury. At morning skate, the line above was back together, meaning we could see part two against Colorado. 

“It is a possibility, it’s always been a possibility,” DeBoer said of Benn and Seguin together. “We wanted to avoid it at the beginning of the year just because the numbers showed we’d been there, done that, and there hadn’t been a ton of success with it in recent time. We wanted to go a different direction and I think it worked. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t go back to it.” 

Starting goaltender: Jake Oettinger is expected to make his 12th start of the season. Oettinger is 7-2-1 with a .927 save percentage. 

Lineup notes: Both Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, and a mystery defenseman all remain ‘game-time’ decisions. Both Hintz and Gurianov were on the ice at morning skate but Gurianov was skating as an extra defenseman. 

“Well, Hanley played forward, we got through the game,” DeBoer said. “Everybody is in the same situation tonight. So with the game-time decisions upfront, I don’t know whether we’ll dress seven D or not.” 

Stars Projected Lines

  • Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
  • Mason Marchment – Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin
  • Matej Blümel – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
  • Joel Kiviranta – Radek Faksa – Luke Glendening
  • Miro Heiskanen – Colin Miller
  • Ryan Suter – Nils Lundkvist
  • Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpää
  • Jake Oettinger
  • Scott Wedgewood

Sam’s Three Keys

  • Don’t let Cale Makar do Cale Makar things 
  • Don’t let Cale Makar do Cale Makar things 
  • Don’t let Cale Makar do Cale Makar things 

He Said It 

“There’s some teams that play seven D regular,” DeBoer said. “It’s really hard to get guys in a rotation and get into the game doing that. I think it was a secondary option for us if Hanley showed that he couldn’t help us upfront.”

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