But there will be a very formidable opponent on the second half of this back-to-back. The St. Louis Blues are atop the Western Conference standings by a decent margin (72 points, a seven point lead on the Stars and a six point lead on the Colorado Avalanche.) However, their play of late hasn’t been where they want it to be.
In some ways, the Blues appear to be trying to move their game to be a little bit more closely aligned to that which the Stars try to play every night:
Berube: “Last year we were playing desperate hockey. We need to bring in a little bit more urgency to our game - on defense more than offense, but offensively not playing a cute game. Last year we were No. 1 team in the NHL for not turning puck over. We’ve got to get that back.”— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) February 7, 2020
That kind of speak from the head coach sounds awfully familiar to Stars fans. With both teams desperate to get their game back on track, and both cooling off to the tune of 4-5-1 in their last 10 games played, it’s likely to be a spirited affair.
St. Louis Blues Lines
The Blues mixed up their bottom six in advance of tonight’s game.
Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Robert Thomas
Zach Sanford - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron
Sammy Blais - Tyler Bozak - Alex Steen
Mackenzie MacEachern - Ivan Barbashev - Troy Brouwer
Carl Gunnarsson - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn - Justin Faulk
Jordan Binnington should be in net tonight.
Dallas Stars Lines
Without a morning skate today, lineup decisions will be a game-time call. Alexander Radulov, who was injured last night with an “upper-body injury”, is likely a game-time decision at best. There was no update after the game last night as to what his injury was or how long he may be out, but given past injury updates of late under interim head coach Rick Bowness, I’m going to guess he’ll be listed as “day-to-day”. His absence likely means Joel Kiviranta draws back in.
Here’s what I think the lineup might look like tonight, but it’ll be confirmed during warm-ups:
Jamie Benn - Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin
Mattias Janmark - Joe Pavelski - Joel Kiviranta
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Denis Gurianov - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak - Andrej Sekera
Anton Khudobin is likely in net, with the second half of a back-to-back set.
After the game tonight, the Stars will get a couple of days off to rest before hitting the ice at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes. You can still find tickets to see one of the most exciting teams in the East take on the Stars in person that night.