Gameday Preview: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators (7:00 pm CDT)


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Dallas Stars (6-2-5)
@ Nashville Predators (5-6-1)

Saturday, Oct 31, 2009, 7:00 PM CDT
Sommet Center

Local TV: My27 KDFI
Radio: KTCK The Ticket

Opponent's Blog: On The Forecheck

Complete Coverage >


The Stars close out the opening month of October with an already familiar foe in the Nashville Predators. Dallas dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Predators on opening night, then came back 11 nights later and whipped them to the tune of 6-0.

Dallas will also close out the month with their third back-to-back set of games. In the previous two, the Stars have gone a combined 2-1-1 with a 4-2 win at Chicago two weeks ago and a 5-4 OT loss to the Kings back on October 22nd.

Last night, the Stars dropped to 0-4 in shootouts in a wild 6-5 loss to the Florida Panthers. Dallas' trio of James Neal, Mike Riberio, and Brad Richards failed to score on Florida goaltender Scott Clemensen and Rostislav Olesz' second round marker, which took video replay to confirm, was the only score of the shootout.

Injury notes and a look at the Predators after the jump.

The Dallas Stars:

Alex Auld got the start last night against Florida after Marty Turco was sent home with flu-like symptoms. It's not clear if he'll be able to give it a go tonight.

Jere Lehtinen and Mike Modano are skated with the team in practice Friday and both are close to returning. However, their status is still up in the air. Ironically, each player was injured in separate contests against the Predators. Modano took an inadvertent stick to the ribs on opening night four weeks ago and Lehtinen injured his groin the last time these two teams met on October 14th.

The lines will be juggled a bit by the return of Steve Ott from his two game suspension. Last night, the Stars went with 7 defensemen and 5 forwards with Jeff Woywitka getting a lot of time playing as a winger on the fourth line.

Assuming the Stars go back to a traditional 12 forward and 6 defensemen lineup, that probably means either Fistric or Woywitka will get the night off. But Marc Crawford will have a bit of a dilemma where to put Ott back in considering the play of the third line last night which was centered by Tom Wandell.

What the lines will look like is anybody's guess. But here's my take on what I think they should look like:

Morrow - Ribeiro - Benn
Neal - Richards - Eriksson
Wandell - Ott - Brunnstrom
Petersen - Sutherby - Barch

 

The Nashville Predators:

We're not even through the first month of the season and the Predators have already seen their share of ups and downs. They started out with an opening night shootout win over the Stars and followed that up with a 3-2 win over Colorado on October 8th.

But then they went through a winless six game stretch that included the 6-0 beat down at the hands of the Stars on October 14th and have followed that up by winning three of their last four games.

J.P. Dumont was the catalyst in their 6-5 OT win at Ottawa to end their winless streak back on October 22nd. He had a goal and four assists that evening and has chipped in a goal and an assist in Nashville's last two games, which were also wins.

The Predators have also received some much needed offensive help on the blue as of late from Shea Weber, who has scored three goals and picked up two assists during Nasvhille's last four games.

Injuries:

Dallas: RW Jere Lehtinen (intercostal muscle), C Mike Modano (ribs), and G Marty Turco (flu-like symptoms) are questionable.

Nashville: Winger Martin Erat was a late scratch for their last contest against Chicago with what was termed a lower body injury. According to the Tennessean, his status for tonight's game is doubtful. C Jason Arnott (arm) and RW Jordin Tootoo (quadriceps) are out.

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