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Stars Return Home After Disappointing Road Trip

At least the confines of the American Airlines Center have been kinder to the Dallas Stars this season.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The road has not been kind to the Dallas Stars so far this season, and this last road trip wasn’t either. After collecting just one available point of the six possible in the three-game swing through some Eastern conference opponents, a return to the friendly confines of the American Airlines Center will be welcome.

After all, Dallas is 6-2-0 on home ice.

They’ll need to collect some points at home if the Stars wish to keep a playoff spot within shouting distance. And while it may seem early in the season to be concerned about that, the Stars know that a point now means just as much as in April. That whole “more than five points outside of the playoffs by Thanksgiving” adage looms large this week.

The Edmonton Oilers are looking at their spot in the standings and thinking about that same thing.

They’ve had a little more success on the road, going 3-3-2 away from Rogers Place. They actually mirror the Stars a lot in some ways. They struggle to find offense but have the ability to explode with goals every now and then. They struggle to keep the puck out of their own net.

Sound familiar?

It’s hard to imagine what the game today could look like between these two clubs that are desperate to put together a string of wins and show that they’re better than the start to their seasons. Given each club’s struggles to reach three goals on any given night, it could end up looking like a goalie dual and a 2-1 outcome. Or, given each club’s struggles to keep the puck out of the net, it could be a wild wild west style 5-3 outcome.

Dallas might hold the edge in the matchup given their home performance so far this season. They have a top 10 power play conversion rate at home (24.0%). They have a stellar 93.8% penalty kill rate on home ice, the second best in the league right now.

Kari Lehtonen has started just two games at home, with today being his third. In those two, he’s allowed only two goals versus the Vegas Golden Knights and one goal versus the Buffalo Sabres. He’s got a 100% save percentage on the penalty kill at home. Overall, it sets up for a nice trend on home ice, even if it is small sample sizes.

The Stars will continue to be without Marc Methot on defense, as he will miss another game with a lower body injury. The lineup for both teams likely won’t be known until warm-ups, given the early nature of today’s matchup with a 1 pm puck drop.

The game today will be broadcast on FSSW locally, and on the radio at 570 AM. Note the radio broadcast change — the game is usually broadcast on The Ticket, the official radio home of the Stars. It’s also the NHL TV free game of the day for those that live outside of the regional network area.