Gameday Preview: Carolina Hurricanes @ Dallas Stars (7:30p)


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Carolina Hurricanes (5-12-5)
@ Dallas Stars(10-6-6)

Monday, Nov 23, 2009, 7:30 PM CST
American Airlines Center

TV: FSSW
Radio: KTCK 1310 The Ticket

Opponent's Blog: Canes Country

Complete Coverage >


Not much to say about this that hasn't already been said multiple times this season. The Stars are coming off a big win against a tough opponent, and now must try to carry the momentum over to try and win against a team that just isn't that good overall. Can they do this? The Stars are 1-5-3 this season following a victory so far this season, and they have yet to give a good indication they've figured out this whole "consistency" issue just yet.

Follow the jump for more on the Stars and a look at Carolina.

The Dallas Stars:

Once again the Stars will be without James Neal, who is serving the second of his two game suspension tonight. It looks like Marty Turco will be back in net, and we're assuming the lines will pretty much be the same. We've yet to get an update from the skate today, so no word on if Fabian Brunnstrom or Brian Sutherby are available. Brunnstrom has been skating and shooting, but has yet to take any hits in practice so I'm not counting him in just yet. Currently, both are listed as out. Expect lines to be:

Wandell - Richards - Eriksson
Ott - Ribeiro - Lehtinen
Morrow - Modano - Benn
Barch - Peters - Petersen

Against New Jersey I was pleased with this combination and it looked like the Stars had the most balance among the four lines we've seen this season.

Here are some notes on the game courtesy of Andrew's Dallas Stars Page:

* The Stars are 1-5-3 in games following victories this season.
* Carolina is the only team in the NHL without a road win (0-7-3) this season.
* The Stars have given up five power play goals in the last two games.
* The Hurricanes are 6-26 on the power play over their last five games.
* Carolina is 17-23 (73.9%) on the penalty kill over the past six games.
* The Stars are 8-33 (24.2%) on the power play over their last seven games.
* The Stars are 5-1-0 when leading after one period this season and 8-1-0 when leading after two periods.

The Carolina Hurricanes:

Easy opponent right? Just five wins this season, should be a cake walk for this team that beat the Devils on Saturday, right?

Well, the Canes are 3-0-2 in their past five games and have two straight wins. From Canes Country, who poses the question of whether Eric Staal should be moved to wing:

When Staal joined his teammates for the pregame skate Saturday morning, he was skating as a winger on Brandon Sutter's line.  There has been some talk that the team might try moving their leading goal scorer for the past four years, to wing. 

Should they risk it?

This is a move that should not be taken lightly.    Staal has scored 153 goals over the previous four years for an average of 38 goals per year.  Only Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Vincent Lecavalier, and Dany Heatley have lit the lamp more times in that same period.

But the center has not been able to match his career best numbers he put up in 2005-06, the year that playmaking forward Cory Stillman was on his line.  Could he have even better results playing alongside a prototype, playmaking center?  Would it be better for the team if he moved?

 

Key Injuries:

Carolina: RW Scott Walker (upper body) and G Michael Leighton (groin) are questionable. C Eric Staal (upper body), G Cam Ward (leg) and C Michael Ryan (concussion) are out.

Dallas: LW Fabian Brunnstrom (shoulder) and C Brian Sutherby (groin) are out.

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