The Dallas Stars kicked off a four game road trip against Eastern Conference teams with an overtime win over the Boston Bruins in a matinee game yesterday. Just about 36 hours later, they’ll look to collect a second win on this trip and two more big points when they make their first ever visit to Little Caesars Arena as they take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight.
Playoff positioning in the Central Division continues to be jam-packed, even as Dallas picked up two points yesterday. They are just two points out of third place in the division, six points behind the division-leading Winnipeg Jets, and just three points ahead of last place Chicago Blackhawks today.
Continuing to pick up points is the only assurance that the Stars can control their own destiny and get into the postseason after missing out last year. Every game is crucial down the stretch, and tonight is no different.
According to head coach Ken Hitchcock, the Stars have some injuries after a tough game versus the Boston Bruins yesterday.
We know for certain that Jason Spezza will draw back into the lineup after being healthy scratched yesterday. It is more probable that we won’t know what the lineup will look like until warm-ups tonight. With Spezza coming in, that would usually mean another coming out to serve as the lone healthy scratch at forward. However, if the Stars need to take out more than one forward due to these injuries Hitchcock alluded to, it is always a possibility they could roll with 11 forwards and 7 blueliners tonight, with Dillon Heatherington still up with the team.
Ben Bishop will get the start in net.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are not the power house that they once were. But that doesn’t mean they don’t present a formidable challenge to the Stars tonight. After all, they are also fighting for a playoff spot like the Stars — though the Stars have the advantage of already being in one today and the Red Wings are seven points behind the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit is slightly shorthanded today, with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader still out with injuries. They’re coming off of a 4-0 thrashing of the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday night. They’ll be more rested than Dallas is, and the Red Wings will be looking to start a streak rolling to gain ground in the East.
It should be a great matchup tonight.
Here’s the Red Wings expected lineup:
Anthony Mantha - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Andreas Athanasiou
Tomas Tatar - Frans Nielsen - Martin Frk
Luke Witkowski - Dominic Turgeon - David Booth
Danny DeKeyser - Trevor Daley
Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson - Nick Jensen
Jimmy Howard should get the start in net with Petr Mrazek his backup.
Puck drop: 6:30 PM CST
TV: FSSW+ (check this handy guide here for which channel that is for your provider)
Radio: 96.7 FM / 1310 AM The Ticket
Online: Fox Sports Go / theticket.com