Stars-Predators Preview

Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 9:46 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Predators Preview

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Thursday, December 12
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (14-10-5) had a six-game points streak snapped with a 6-2 loss to Chicago at American Airlines Center Tuesday night. The Stars were down 5-0 by the midway point of the game.

“I think it’s by far the worst game we've played all year,” said Stars center Shawn Horcoff. “We’re just going to have to put that behind us. I think we’re a team that prides ourselves on our work ethic and our skating. We’re a tough team to beat and we can play with any team in the League but tonight was just not the case.”

Thursday’s game opens a three-game road trip for the Stars and a stretch of four games in six days, all against teams from the Central Division.

“It’s a big four games,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “We’ve been playing well on the road, we want to keep that streak going and we’ve got to understand the meaning of these games.”

Stars center Vernon Fiddler, who missed Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury, skated prior to practice Wednesday. He is not expected to play Thursday, but could be ready by the end of the road trip, according to Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

Injuries: C Vernon Fiddler (upper body), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Predators

The Predators (14-14-3) snapped a five-game winless streak with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Tuesday. The line of Paul Gaustad, Matt Hendricks and Rich Clune scored three of Nashville’s goals.

“I've been happy with the way our line has played. We have tons of O-zone time,” Clune said. “We get so much time on the forecheck and cycling pucks, you want something to drop sooner or later, especially when you're not winning."

Thursday’s game opens a three-game homestand for the Predators, who have dropped four straight (0-3-1) at Bridgestone Arena.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne, who had hip surgery on Oct. 24 due to a bacterial infection, remains out. There is no definite date for his return. Marek Mazanec, 22, has played the majority of the games for the Predators with Rinne out and has posted a 5-7-1 record, 2.51 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

Injuries: G Pekka Rinne (hip) and C Filip Forsberg (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of five meetings between the Stars and Predators.

*The Stars were 1-1-1 against the Predators last season.

*The Predators were 2-1-0 against the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 31-21-3 all-time against Nashville.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 7-1-1 in their last nine road games.

*The Predators are 1-4-1 in their last six home games.

*The Stars are 2-5-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Predators are 5-5-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars, who are ranked 30th in the league on the power play, are 2-27 (7.4) percent over the last eight games.

*The Predators are 1-21 (4.8 percent) on the power play over the last nine games.

*Forward Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas’ first round pick (10th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, has 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 28 games. He is tied for seventh among NHL rookies in scoring and is tied for second among rookies in assists.

*Defenseman Seth Jones, Nashville’s first round pick (4th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 31 games. He is fourth in scoring among rookie defenseman and leads all NHL rookies in average ice time per game (23:07).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 56 29 34 18 63
T. Seguin 56 30 32 13 62
J. Klingberg 56 10 37 13 47
P. Sharp 56 16 25 -2 41
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
A. Goligoski 56 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 56 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 56 11 10 13 21
A. Hemsky 49 6 14 0 20
J. Demers 49 7 12 16 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 16 5 0 .910 2.80
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