The Stars are coming off a 4-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night that gave them the ultimate high of Tyler Seguin finally breaking his goal drought. However, it was also coupled with the exceedingly low low of losing John Klingberg for at least four weeks after he broke his hand blocking a shot. So that could have gone better.
This game is the first of five meetings between the two teams this season. Stars fans are aware of the struggles the team have had adjusting to another new coach and a new system this season, though the record at home is better than the record on the road. The Stars are currently 6-2-0 at home and 3-4-1 on the road.
The Predators, for a bit of contrast, have had a barn fire of an early season. They are currently 12-3-0 on the season with those three losses all at home. This game is the second on a five game road trip.
As previously discussed, Tyler Seguin scored Thursday night, his first since October 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. While it’s a big relief, the Stars have been getting at least some of the secondary scoring they’d been hoping for in the early season, mostly notably last night from Devin Shore. Shore is having the kind of season he probably dreamed about as a child. Sixteen games into the season and he’s almost halfway to his goal total in 82 games last season.
The Stars will feel the loss of John Klingberg, with their already depleted defensive core. Last year it was forwards, this year it seems to be defensemen. They’ve called Joel Hanley up from Cedar Park to fill in on the bottom pair. Julius Honka was paired with Esa Lindell at practice today and is tapped to take the number one spot tonight.
Tonight’s line up:
Devin Shore - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin
Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Denis Gurianov
Blake Comeau - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Gemel Smith
Esa Lindell - Julius Honka
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Dillon Heatherington - Joel Hanley
The Nashville Predators have been almost unstoppable in the early season, and still have a full arsenal of players at their disposal in the likes of Filip Forsberg, whose 10 goals just missed cracking the top 10 in goal scoring because it ties with too many other players. You know how many Dallas Stars appear in the top 50 in goal scoring? One. His name is Jamie Benn.
Viktor Arvidsson, who is close behind Forsberg with eight goals for the year, is still on injured reserve with a lower body injury. Zac Rinaldo missed several games but came back before their game in Colorado on Wednesday where he scored the game winning goal.
Pekka Rinne returned from an injury last week and by all reports from the people that regularly watch him, he is playing like he was never injured, which is less than stellar news for Stars fans.
No line up information for the Predators, but with the break between games, expect Rinne back in net and a first line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Ryan Hartman.
It’s an early one today, puck drop is 1 p.m. CST.