Of all the games the Dallas Stars lost in March in heartbreaking fashion, the two against the Anaheim Ducks were not only the most costly, but also the most devastating. Many view the Teemu Selanne goal with five seconds remaining in Dallas three weeks ago as the catastrophic moment that will be remembered as the last nail in their coffin.
Dallas seemingly had two points locked up in their last visit to Anaheim when the exact same thing happened. A late third period goal for the Ducks and the overtime winner game the Ducks the full two points instead. Had the Stars been able to close both of those games out the Ducks would have 89 points today and the Stars would have 89 points. The game might be viewed as "win and you're win".
Instead it's viewed as little more than a formality and the final blow that will put the math virtually out of reach. A Chicago win today and a Stars loss would do just that. If things go right in both games then the Stars can take a little hope from the situation and hope that Chicago continues to lose and that they take care of their business against teams out of the picture to end the season.
As for the specifics of this one, Kari Lehtonen will probably get the start in back to back games. If they lose this one it's possible that we'll see a couple of Raycroft starts down the stretch (and maybe a Bachman start?) but until then it's Kari, Kari and more Karie. He was good yesterday.
The Ducks blew a 2-0 lead last night in San Jose in controversial fashion. They weren't happy about a call that led to the game wining goal for the Sharks and they also weren't happy that Douglas Murray took a run at Star-killer Lubomir Visnovsky.
It's not certain if "Lubo" will miss any time, but as it's the Stars, we're guessing he won't miss a second and pot a couple of power play goals today like he has in seemingly every other meeting this year.
Mark Fistric left the game after a high stick and also appeared shaken on the play where the Kings scored their first goal yesterday, so it's not known if he will be able to go. Karlis Skrastins returned yesterday but played only 13 minutes.
Adam Burish remains out with a stress fracture and will probably not return for the rest of the season.
That's it. There's not much left to say. Win today and hope your little tails off. Hope is all that is left unfortunately.