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‘Tough luck’ Avs host Stars tonight

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - MARCH 03: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche prepares for a face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 5-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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The surprising Colorado Avalanche haven’t quite come back to Earth like many predicted they would, but a 2-3-1 start to the month of December -- which started with an 8-2 loss in Edmonton -- adds a bit of urgency to tonight’s home game versus Dallas.

On Saturday, the Avs dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to Minnesota. According to forward Matt Duchene, it was a game that could’ve ended differently.

“I don’t think we played bad hockey,” Duchene said. “I thought we played a heck of a hockey game. We’re having tough luck right now. We made a lot of good plays, and the one that goes in for us hits a skate and goes in. I thought maybe the bounces were going to go our way.”

Here’s how the standings look in the Western Conference:


So this is a big game as well for the Stars, who will likely have to hunt down one of Colorado, Vancouver, or Minnesota for a playoff spot, plus leapfrog Phoenix.

The Stars and Avs play again tomorrow in Dallas.