In the midst of the trade deadline coming up on Monday, it can get a little easy to forget that there are still games to be played in the NHL.
The Dallas Stars are playing two, in fact, between now and the trade deadline. Today, they’ll host the Carolina Hurricanes at home in a 4 PM puck drop matinee. Tomorrow, it’s another early one as they’ll drop the puck at 2 PM at the United Center versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
For today’s game, the Stars will be looking for a much better outcome than the last weekend when they played the Hurricanes — and saw them celebrate a home win with a limbo-themed Storm Surge after the game. The Stars were shut out 3-0, marking the second straight game where the team had scored no goals.
Since then, the Stars lost on home ice in a spirited affair against the Nashville Predators 5-3 and then ended the St. Louis Blues 11-game winning streak with a resounding 5-2 win. That stretch of four games is not far from how the season has gone for the Stars — very good at home and a seeming inability to score on the road.
That’s why it’s so important to keep winning on home ice — that’s the easiest place for them to get points, and every point is going to be crucial if they want to stay in the playoff picture.
Dallas Stars Lineup
Without a morning skate, we won’t know who’s in and who’s out for today’s game until closer to puck drop. However, it’s a safe bet that it won’t look too different from the last game. Newly acquired defenseman Ben Lovejoy will join the team tomorrow in Chicago.
Jamie Benn – Radek Faksa – Blake Comeau
Roope Hintz – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark – Jason Dickinson – Jason Spezza
Andrew Cogliano – Joel L’Esperance – Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell – John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen – Roman Polak
Jamie Oleksiak – Taylor Fedun
Logic usually dictates that the starter would get the home game and the backup would get the road game in this kind of back-to-back. With Ben Bishop coming back from injury, it probably makes sense if he starts today’s game — it gives him the run support the team usually gets on home ice and doesn’t force him into a huge divisional road matchup against a team that is right behind the Stars fighting for a Wild Card spot as he shakes off the rust from not seeing game action these last two weeks or so. We’ll have a confirmed starter closer to game start, though.
Jordan Staal is expected back in the lineup after missing 30+ games, so we’ll have to see what impact that has on the lineup for the Hurricanes during warmups.