Gameday Preview: Dallas Stars @ Vancouver Canucks (7:00pm CST)

Rich Lam

The Stars go for their sixth straight road win at Rogers Arena tonight against the Canucks.

The Dallas Stars will look for their second straight three-game road trip sweep tonight at Rogers Arena in Vancouver as they take on the Canucks following a 7-3 shellacking of the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn rank first and second in the league in road scoring entering play tonight after career-high performances in Alberta and will try to continue turning heads on their trip through Canada, making a statement in Victory green and also a convincing case to represent their country in Sochi 2014.

The Canucks are as dangerous as ever but find themselves in search of answers after dropping three straight and scoring just three totals goals in the stretch. They'll try to apply superior depth and a couple of days worth of practice to slow the Stars' top line and break out offensively tonight.

From Stars PR: "Dallas won its only contest in Vancouver last season and has won two of its last three tilts at Rogers Arena. Forwards CODY EAKIN (2-2=4) and JAMIE BENN (2-2=4) shared the team-lead last season in three games against the Canucks."

Puck drops just after 7:00pm CST on Fox Sports Southwest.

The Stars:

It's one thing to walk to into Calgary and blitz the home team with a six-point performance and a four goal performance, as did Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin did respectively Thursday night. It's another thing to keep that kind of success going after such a coming out party.

With such an eye opener against the Flames and two days off to prepare, the Vancouver Canucks will have surely scoured the video tape and made their plans- After all, if you match-up against those two and make a concerted effort to stop them, what's behind them to beat you?

Mike Heika reported lines from practice on Saturday morning to be these:

Benn-Seguin-Nichushkin
Cole-Eakin-Chiasson
Horcoff-Fiddler-Peverley
Roussel-Morin-Garbutt

It would seem likely, then, that one or two of those other combinations is going to have to chip in offensively to get another three-game road sweep, but with Ray Whitney out Cody Eakin and Alex Chiasson have struggled to generate much at even strength along side Erik Cole.

Whitney skated Saturday in Vancouver but told media he's not likely to be ready for this one tonight, so expect more of the same.

Kari Lehtonen should start in net.

The Canucks

While the Stars have been trouncing the shallow end of the West's talent pool the Canucks have been challenged by the very best - San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim - and have been found wanting in their last three.

They've managed a single goal in three straight en route to an 0-2-1 stretch, but have had a couple of days to work, waiting for the Stars at home, eager to get back to their customary winning ways.

As for that Stars power play still looking to get healthy, the Canucks have killed 25 of their last 26 shorthanded obligations. On the other side the Canucks have earned six or more power plays in a game three times at home already, and an average of four. So as usual, staying out of the box is a must.

Vancouver is 4-3-1 at home this season, and their lone win against a Western Conference team at Rogers Arena came against the dreaded and feared Edmonton Oilers. In six of the eight home contests they allowed two or fewer goals, and as such could be a hard nut to crack for Dallas tonight.

Possible line combinations:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows
Higgins-Kesler-Hansen
Booth-Santorelli-Kassian
Sestito-Richardson-Dalpe

Edler-Garrison
Hamhuis-Tanev
Stanton-Bieksa

Luongo

It's expected that Jannik Hansen will re-join the Canuck lineup after a 10-game absence due to a shoulder injury, and that lets Burrows re-join the Sedins on the top line.

"Our zone time, our time of possession, our chances that we're getting, our shots, I mean, we're that close," Kesler said at Canuck practice Saturday. "We're going to break open pretty soon."

Better hope it's not tonight.

More from Defending Big D:

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Defending Big D

You must be a member of Defending Big D to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Defending Big D. You should read them.

Join Defending Big D

You must be a member of Defending Big D to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Defending Big D. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker