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


Next Game

Nashville Predators
@ Dallas Stars

Saturday, Oct 23, 2010, 7:00 PM CDT
American Airlines Center

TV: TXA-21 (HD)

Radio: 1310 The Ticket. Stream online via stars.nhl.com

Complete Coverage >


The Dallas Stars are (say it with me) 5-1-0!! The question we ask ourselves this morning is: Does anyone know about it? Last Saturday night the Rangers played the Yankees in game 2 of the ALCS and the Stars recorded their lowest attended regular season game ever at the AAC as they defeated the Blues 3-2.

The good news is that there is no game seven tonight. Cliff Lee can be saved for another day and the gathering storm clouds and increased chance of precipitation is not a factor. The Stars will play tonight and should have the attention of metroplex sports fan given their red hot 5-1-0 start unlike last Saturday. The bad news is that several upcoming home dates will rub elbows directly with the area's first ever World Series and attendance will likely suffer.

No matter. We know the Stars are off to an awesome start.

The game itself puts Dallas (5-1-0) against Nashville (3-0-3) in a battle of two teams experiencing very early season Western Conference supremacy, while neither of which expected to do so. Nashville started an impressive 3-0 but have had some bad luck of late losing three straight in the shootout or overtime and only scoring five total goals in their last three games. Most recently they lost to Pittsburgh in OT on Thursday.

More after the jump including the line the Stars hope stays hot for them...

The Stars:

Jamie Benn returned from concussion like symptoms on Thursday night and had a career assist night, recording three helpers in the 4-1 win over the Panthers. Adam Burish's fight in the first period forced a shifting of the line combinations and Benn, Wandell and Ott was re-formed after a disappointing first two games of the season.

Yes, that line already played together for multiple games this season just prior to Benn's injury. How soon we forget. This time, however, they clicked instantly and took advantage of some late retreating Florida d-men, crashing the net and making the Panthers pay on several occasions. The line will reportedly be held together for at least tonight's game against Nashville.

Jeff Woywitka played instead of Mark Fistric and could play again tonight on Saturday in an effort to not change any chemistry that worked in Sunrise, FL. Check back here for the latest after morning skate today.

The lines will likely resemble something like this...

Neal-Richards-Eriksson
Morrow-Ribeiro-Burish
Ott-Benn-Wandell
Barch-Sutherby-Petersen (or Segal could be back in)

Kari Lehtonen is expected to get his 7th consecutive start in goal to open the season.

The Predators:

Nashville ranks 17th in the league in PP percentage and 25th in the league in PK percentage so they're not exactly "special teams specialists" either, but that hasn't stopped them from earning points in every game they've played this season.

While the Stars are completely healthy, the Predators have a few key injuries: Center Marcel Goc is out with a separated shoulder, D Ryan Suter is on injured reserve, and Matthew Lombardi (C) is out with a concussion.

Nashville went 1-0-1 in Dallas last season and the Stars have had much success with them at the AAC over the years.

The Predators average over 32 shots per game where as the Stars only average about 23. Nashville is the only team in the league to yet record a regulation loss. I believe Dallas held that distinction for a time last year, for what it's worth.

Head over to On the Forecheck for more on the Preds.

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