18 to go. The home stand treated the Dallas Stars well enough surrounding the "bye week"- Not well enough to save them at the deadline, but they can score goal at American Airlines Center.
On the road, however- Well, that's part of what's killed them this year. And there's a great big helping of the road coming this month- 10 of their next 13 in March on the road from Miami all the way up to Vancouver in a couple of weeks.
Antoine Roussel is done for the year. Ales Hemsky pulled an Eaves and blocked a shot to his detriment Thursday and may or may not play. Remi Elie has been called up and is looking to get into the action.
This starts the annual "Dad" trip for the Stars, and Dave Strader will not join the team if Twitter was any indication yesterday, so expect Luds back in the booth with Razor.
The Panthers acquired Thomas Vanek at the deadline to aid in their pursuits this spring. Vanek himself is a little confunded as to what those pursuits are, eactly.
“You play the game for a chance to get into the playoffs, to get a chance at the big prize," he told media. "This team is very close, is very talented and I’m excited to join them.”
Very close. To...The big prize? Maybe it's awkward phrasing and he was referring to the playoffs. They are close to that, anyway, though two points behind the Islanders for the second wildcard in the East thanks to New York picking up those two points versus... well, you remember.
They're sniffing that playoff spot and adding free agents all with a -17 goal differential, btw, but they're 6-3-1 over their last ten and earned a point in Philadelphia Thursday night in Vanek's debut.
They got a point, but lost their starting netminder. I'll let the Miami Herald tell you about it...
Roberto Luongo limped out of the visitor’s locker room late Thursday night with a “what-are-you-going-to-do?” look on his face.
A few hours before, Luongo started in what turned out to be a 2-1 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He wouldn’t finish it.
Luongo left Thursday’s game after playing through pain for much of the first period. He made 13 saves and helped kill off a lengthy 5-on-3 power-play chance for the Flyers despite aggravating a condition he has been dealing with for sometime midway through the first.
James Reimer came in to start the second and ended up making 35 saves in a wild game in which both teams combined for 89 shots yet just two goals.
While general manager and interim coach Tom Rowe said Luongo would miss a week, Luongo said he was hopeful that was true but isn’t sure. [Miami Herald]
So it will be James Reimer this evening in goal to oppose what you'd assume will be Kari Lehtonen but Antti Niemi seems to be getting some run right now no matter the result so we'll see.
Their weird lineup features a boat load of former Dallas Stars, including Jaromir Jagr himself, Colton Sceviour, Jason Demers, Reilly Smith and the corpose of Jussi Jokinen-
It really is a nice forward lineup when you add someone like Vanek that far down the progression with Bjugstad. The Stars will have their hands full trying to defend against any number of these lines with such a young group on the back end.
From Stars PR:
"IT'S MADE WITH BITS OF REAL PANTHER, SO YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD"
The Dallas Stars travel to BB&T Center to take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday night for the second and final meeting of the 2016-17 regular season. In the first meeting of the season on Dec. 31, the Panthers defeated the Stars, 3-1, at American Airlines Center. Captain Jamie Benn (0-1=1) and forward Tyler Seguin (0-1=1) each posted an assist for the Stars and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 18-of-18 shots in relief of Antti Niemi. During the 2015-16 campaign, the Stars took a 4-2 decision against the Panthers on Oct. 17, 2015 during the most recent game between two clubs in South Florida. Three Stars skaters recorded multi-point games including Tyler Seguin (2-2=4), captain Jamie Benn (2-1=3) and forward Patrick Sharp (0-2=2). Goaltender Kari Lehtonen turned away 24-of-26 shots to record the victory and improve his record to 3-1-0 at BB&T Center as a member of the Dallas Stars. Forward Jason Spezza leads all Stars players with 35 points (11-24=35) in 44 career games against Florida.
OH CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
Captain Jamie Benn lit the lamp twice (2-0=2) against the Islanders on Thursday and extended his point streak on home ice to 13 games (9-9=18), which is the longest active point streak on home ice in the NHL. Overall, Benn is riding a five-game point streak (4-3=7) and has points in nine of his last 10 outings (7-7=14). Since Jan. 17, the captain has 25 points (13-12=25) in 19 games, which is tied for the most points in the NHL over that span (other: Jonathan Toews). Benn ranks second on the Stars and ranks 11th in the NHL with 60 points (23-37=60) in 60 games this season. He has reached the 20-goal plateau for the seventh time in his eight NHL seasons and since entering the League in 2009-10, he is one of 10 players to have potted 20 goals seven-or-more times over that span. On the road this season, Benn ranks second on the club with 22 points (9-13=22) in 26 games and has nine points (5-4=9) over his last nine road games. The native of Victoria, B.C. has a three-game point streak (4-2=6) against the Panthers, with points in five of last six games (6-2=8) against them. Benn has tallied points in three of his four games at BB&T Center (3-4=7) and has notched 12 points (6-6=12) in 10 career games against Florida.