Avalanche-Stars Preview

Ending their longest losing streak of the season has the Dallas Stars feeling good. The mood isn't all too pleasant after meetings with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Stars attempt to address their struggling special teams as they try to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Avalanche on Saturday night.

A 1-5-2 stretch cost Dallas (30-13-5) the Central Division lead, relinquishing it to Chicago. The Stars trail the Blackhawks by three points, but they regained some confidence after beating Edmonton 3-2 on Thursday to snap a four-game skid.

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"Just to get two points, it's feeling good in here again. Winning helps," defenseman Alex Goligoski told the team's official website. "Definitely some areas we can be better."

Special teams certainly needs to improve, as the Stars have allowed opponents to go 5 for 10 on the power play over the last four games.

Dallas is also 3 for 28 on the power play over the last 11 contests after going 7 for 18 during the previous five.

The Stars' issues against Colorado (25-21-3) goes beyond special teams. They're 1-7-3 in 11 meetings since hiring coach Lindy Ruff prior to the 2013-14 season, and they've surrendered an average of 4.14 goals while losing seven straight matchups.

Dallas gave up five unanswered goals in a 6-3 loss at Colorado on Oct. 10, allowing the Avalanche to go 2 for 4 on the power play.

"It's our last hurdle we've got to get over," Ruff said of needing to beat Colorado. "We played some great games last year and didn't win, but we've got to find a way to win. You can do that different ways. That can be special teams or being sound defensively against their key personnel."

The Avalanche have won seven of 10 games since Jan. 4, winning three in a row by 2-1 scores. In Friday's 2-1 shootout win over St. Louis, Nathan MacKinnon's goal with 53.7 seconds left in regulation forced overtime and Gabriel Landeskog converted the only successful attempt in the tiebreaker.

"We stayed focused," coach Patrick Roy said. "It could have been easy to panic and be (angry) and have excuses to lose the game. We kept pushing."

Landeskog and MacKinnon are among the reasons behind the Avs' recent dominance of the Stars. Landeskog has five goals and eight assists during a seven-game point streak against Dallas, collecting a career-high four points Oct. 10.

MacKinnon had one goal and two assists in that matchup, giving him 10 points in 11 career meetings.

The Stars are getting production out of Jamie Benn, who has three goals and two assists in five games after going four games without a point. The left wing's 27 goals are third in the NHL, one back of Washington's Alex Ovechkin and three behind Patrick Kane of Chicago.

Much of Benn's success has come at home. He leads the league with the most goals as host with 20 after scoring six times over the past seven contests.

Benn only has three goals in his last 22 games against the Avalanche, but has contributed 18 assists over that stretch.

Tyler Seguin has 11 points over his past nine meetings with Colorado. However, he enters this one with two goals and one assist in nine games after going pointless in the last two.