Stars-Predators Preview

Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 8:15 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Predators Preview

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars
Friday, December 27
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (18-12-6) headed into the NHL’s holiday break with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Monday. The Stars, who ran their points streak to four games (3-0-1), pulled to within three points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“We are trying to gain points in a really tough conference. The only way we are going to do it is to beat good teams,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We knew to move up the standings, before we go back home, that the only way was to get a real good effort tonight. We thought that maybe we were going to get out-played by a greater margin with a young defense, but I thought the young defense responded well to the challenge. It was a big two points for us.”

The Stars, who were playing without injured defensemen Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, Sergei Gonchar and Aaron Rome, got a big offensive night from the top line of Jamie Benn (one goal, two assists), Tyler Seguin (one goal, one assist) and Valeri Nichushkin (one goal).

Friday’s game opens a five-game homestand for the Stars, who play 13 of their next 18 games at American Airlines Center.

“We’ve got to be successful at home and take care of these home games coming up after the break,” said Benn. “Find big points because we don’t want people coming into our building and stealing them.”

The Stars assigned D Maxime Fortunus to the Texas Stars of the AHL on Tuesday.

Injuries: D Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms) is questionable. D Aaron Rome (lower body), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are on injured reserve.

About the Predators

The Predators (16-17-4) are coming off a 6-2 loss to Boston at Bridgestone Arena on Monday. The Predators scored early in the third period to cut Boston’s lead to 3-2, but then took back-to-back penalties and the Bruins capitalized, scoring twice on the power play to blow the game open.

"We take two untimely penalties. It just killed our momentum," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "That's my frustration, is that we've got a lot of guys really committed, really working, showing true character, and then we do things that can't happen, unacceptable things."

The Predators have dropped four straight games (0-3-1) and have fallen nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Injuries: G Pekka Rinne (hip) is on injured reserve.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 0-1-0 in the season series and the Predators are 1-0-0.

*December 12, Dallas at Nashville: Predators 3, Stars 1

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

*The Predators are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

*The Stars are 4-1-2 in their last seven home games.

*The Predators have won four of their last six on the road (4-2-0).

*The Predators are 8-21 (38.1 percent) on the power play over the last six games.

*The Stars are 18-19 (94.7 percent) on the penalty kill over the last five games.

*Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin, who make up the Stars’ top line, have scored a combined 11 goals over the last six games.

*Seguin leads the Stars in goals (19) and points (37).

*Nashville’s Craig Smith has four goals over the last three games.

*Smith leads the Predators in goals with 10. David Legwand leads Nashville in points with 25.

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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 6 4 6 5 10
J. Spezza 6 4 5 1 9
P. Eaves 6 2 3 3 5
P. Sharp 6 3 1 0 4
C. Eakin 6 0 4 1 4
A. Goligoski 6 2 1 -4 3
J. Klingberg 6 1 2 -3 3
A. Hemsky 6 1 2 1 3
J. Demers 6 0 3 5 3
M. Janmark 5 0 3 1 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 3 1 0 .911 2.27
A. Niemi 1 1 1 .870 3.36
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