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Can Stars Start New Win Streak With A Win Over Islanders Tonight?

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All streaks start with two games won in a row.

NHL: Dallas Stars at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting outing versus the New York Rangers on Monday night in which the Dallas Stars likely deserved a better outcome than a shootout win, the Stars will look to continue their possession-dominant, smooth puck moving style when they go across the way to Barclays Center to take on the New York Islanders.

There is good and bad news today in terms of what the Stars will be rolling in the way of personnel. Martin Hanzal will return from injured reserve tonight as Antoine Roussel draws out after injuring his elbow in Saturday’s loss versus the Vegas Golden Knights. It seems the injury is more of a day-to-day kind, so it’s likely that he’ll return in the upcoming back-to-back set this weekend (New Jersey Devils Friday night, Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night). Jason Dickinson will be the other scratch among the forwards tonight.

The lines are likely to be much like we saw last game, with offense spread among more of the lines.

Jamie Benn - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Alexander Radulov
Remi Elie - Tyler Seguin - Devin Shore
Gemel Smith - Martin Hanzal - Brett Ritchie

Hopefully Ken Hitchcock will utilize these lines similar to the last game, more or less rolling three lines evenly with that fourth trio used as more of a checking line/role. With their power play slumping after being red-hot at the start of the year, the power play units are also being changed up in order to have some balance on each unit based on this morning’s skate:

PP Unit 1: John Klingberg, Julius Honka, Jason Spezza, Alexander Radulov, Mattias Janmark
PP Unit 2: Tyler Seguin, Esa Lindell, Jamie Benn, Martin Hanzal, Devin Shore

If that first unit is as good on ice as in my imagination, I want Klingberg-Honka as a shot of adrenaline every time they’ve got a man advantage. And in 3-on-3 overtime. Or when they need a shot of excitement. So...basically anytime of the game, to be honest.

Jamie Oleksiak will make himself comfortable in the press box again tonight after Julius Honka’s solid outing versus the New York Rangers on Monday night. Defensive pairings are likely to be the same as they were last game:

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Stephen Johns - Julius Honka

Kari Lehtonen gets another start in net after his lock-down performance last game. He could notch career win #300 tonight if all goes according to plan. He’ll have to outplay the Islanders’ potent offense, which ranks 2nd in the league at 3.53 goals per game on average.

The expected Islanders lineup is:

Anders Lee - John Tavares - Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Joshua Ho-Sang
Jason Chimera - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Scott Mayfield
Cole de Haan - Adam Pelech
Dennis Seidenberg - Ryan Pulock

It’s possible that Johnny Boychuk could draw in on the blueline as he is a game-time decision.

Don’t forget it’s an early one since the team is on the east coast. Puck drop is 6:00 PM CDT, and you can watch it on FSSW, the Fox Sports Go app, or listen to the radio broadcast on The Ticket (96.7 FM / 1310 AM / theticket.com)