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Dickinson Out, Khudobin Starting: Everything You Need To Know For Stars vs Islanders Tonight (7 PM CST)

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It’s part preview, part GDT here on Christmas Eve Eve.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery got a little philosophical before his team took in the New York Islanders at home in the second half of a back-to-back.

In case you didn’t know, his team has struggled to find consistency in their starts this season. They’ve struggled to be ready to go in the first periods, which allows teams to get the jump on them. Playing with an early deficit is difficult to do when the team is struggling to find offense this season, a position they shouldn’t be putting themselves into.

“The responsibility as a professional in the National Hockey League is for you to be prepared to play. And that’s, that’s the one thing I’ve told a lot of people, that’s different when I was here as a player. Is like guys were ready to go, it was ultra - if you weren’t ready to go, you were gonna get hurt. You know? I know these guys, they’re better athletes, but I don’t know if they’re as tough.”

Then he gave us a little more of his world view, positing “The world in general isn’t as tough now as it used to be, I think.”

He was asked what they’ve tried to fix the problem with. He rattled off a number of methods: showing video, displaying road records, telling specific lines what they didn’t do well in starts to games past. Nothing seems to be getting the point across consistently. It’s likely something that the coaching staff will continue trying to find the key to, much like a New York Times Sunday crossword being done in pen — but with incomplete clues right now.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Denis Gurianov
Devin Shore - Martin Hanzal - Blake Comeau
Valeri Nichushkin - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Taylor Fedun
Gavin Bayreuther - Roman Polak

Antoin Khudobin in net.

Jason Dickinson is out day-to-day with back spasms. Connor Carrick’s return to the lineup will be assessed after the Christmas break. The Stars will faceoff versus the Nashville Predators in their next game on Thursday after a three-day league break for the holiday. It’s a big matchup coming right out of the break, so you better believe finding the trick for a strong start that night will be in the back of the coaching staff’s mind as they travel home and visit with family away from the rink the next few days.

New York Islanders Lineup

Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier - Mathew Barzal - Josh Bailey
Leo Komarov - Valtteri Filppula - Josh Ho-Sang
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Scott Mayfield
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Luca Sbisa - Devon Toews

Robin Lehner in net.

How To Watch

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM CST
Radio: 1310 AM / 96.7 FM The Ticket
Online: / Fox Sports Go