In October of 2015 the Dallas Stars kicked off their season against an opponent that seemed liked a much bigger deal than the Avalanche, besting the Penguins at home on a Thursday before getting six goals hung on them in Denver on Saturday.
In October of 2016 the Dallas Stars kicked off their season against an opponent that seemed liked a much bigger deal than the Avalanche, besting the Duck at home on a Thursday before getting six goals hung on them in Denver on Saturday.
That might be where the similarities end, however. Last season the Stars got the Oilers at home on the following Tuesday and got back on the horse. This year that Tuesday game finds them in hostile Nashville to take on everyone's new favorite darlings in the Predators.
They made a big acquisition this off-season, in case you hadn't heard. P.K. Subban's boost to the roster is such a shot in the arm that many ESPN, TSN and SI analysts picked them to win the West, the President's Trophy, and parts beyond.
Those keeping track at home may be getting itchy after noticing that's the fourth Central Division team that expects itself to win the West this season, and that a team not on that list scored six on Ruff's bunch on...no, sorry. We covered that already.
Digressions aside, Nashville looks to be a big boy team that's coming off a home-and-home back to back big boy fight with the Chicago Blackhawks. The home team took each, and the Predators scored three times on both occasions while out-shooting Toews' squad both nights as well.
P.K. Subban scored and Pekka Rinne was good, but the scary part is that Predator power play that went four-of-eight (50%) in two games against Chicago. Dallas got a heroic 5/5 night Thursday on the PK before watching the Avs pot two on the job. That figures to be an important unit tonight on the road.
The Lindy Ruff line blender was taken out of the cabinet and dusted off Monday in Frisco as the coach rolled out some new combination to help even out the team's play. Jiri Hudler was absent and is expected to stay home due to illness.
That leaves you with-
Ales Hemsky is skating. On the backend Ruff went to this configuration, combining Hamhuis and Klingberg after Jordie and Nemeth had turns.
Ruff had some pointed comments Monday, remarking "The message is we're not going to win many games playing that way, and the guys who are going to play the right way are going to play the most. If that means dropping down to three lines inside of a game, we'll get that done quickly."
You tell 'em, coach.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 12 of 13 shots in relief Saturday so you'd imagine he would get the nod as the team tries to wipe another sour Saturday out of its collective mouth- But you never know.
The Predators boast a roster of significant depth, suddenly, and now get full seasons of Ryan Johansen and P.K. Subban to play with. Yannick Weber also joins a group on defense that returns Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm.
And on defense-
- Carle-Y. Weber
Mike Ribeiro will turn 37 years old later this season. James Neal just turned 29.
From Stars PR:
DOWN ON MUSIC ROW
The Dallas Stars travel to the Music City to take on the Nashville Predators in the first of five meetings during the 2016-17 campaign. Last season against the Predators, Dallas went 4-1-0 and won four games against Nashville in a single season for the first time since 2000-01. The Stars went 1-1-0 on the road last season against the Predators and dropped a 5-3 decision in the most recent meeting at Bridgestone Arena on March 1, 2016. Forward Antoine Roussel notched a multi-point game (1-1=2) with forward Jason Spezza adding a goal (1-0=1) on the power play. Captain Jamie Benn also added an assist (0-1=1), extending his point streak against the Predators to six-straight games (6-5=11). Benn has 24 points (10-14=24) in 28 career games against Nashville.
THE TYLER ROSE
Stars forward Tyler Seguin recorded a three-point night (2-1=3) against the Avalanche on Saturday and posted his first multi-point contest of the 2016-17 season. Seguin's three-point outing marks his highest point total in a single game since recording four points (1-3=4) on Dec. 8, 2015 vs. Carolina. Since joining the Dallas Stars prior to the 2013-14 season, Seguin has 68 multi-point games which is the second-most in the NHL over that span (most: Sidney Crosby, 77). He has recorded three-or-more points in a game 25 times over his NHL career, with 18 of those games occurring as a member of the Stars. The native of Brampton, Ont. has points in three of his last four games against Nashville (3-1=4) and has tallied seven points (4-3=7) in 14 career games against the Predators.
IT'S A SHORE THING
Stars forward Devin Shore recorded two points (1-1=2) on Saturday night against Colorado, potting his first career NHL goal. The forward now has points in two consecutive games (1-2=3) and is riding his first career NHL point streak. Shore registered his first career NHL point (0-1=1) on Thursday night against Anaheim, assisting on Lauri Korpikoski's goal in the second period. Originally selected by Dallas in the second round (61st) in the 2012 NHL Draft, Shore made his NHL debut last season, posting a +2 plus/minus rating in three games with Dallas. The native of Ajax, Ont. earned 26 points (15-11=26) in 23 regular-season contests during the 2015-16 season with the Texas Stars (AHL) and set a new Texas franchise record with goals in six consecutive games (7-4=11).