Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or at least that’s how the saying goes. I’m not sure how true it is outside of the rink, but the Dallas Stars are hoping to find out tonight if it’s true on the ice. It doesn’t get much colder than skating around on a sheet of ice. Revenge? Well, that remains to be seen.
After winning the first four games of the year in dominating fashion, the Stars met their first obstacle in the form of the Carolina Hurricanes. Those two games in Raleigh brought Dallas back to reality. Especially the first game of that series.
After scoring 19 goals in the first four games combined, Dallas only managed four in the two games in Carolina, including a 4-1 loss in the series opener. It was a game where the score was a lot closer than the actual game itself.
Carolina scored all four goals by the midway point of the second period and coasted to an easy victory. The second game of that series was also a loss, but it was a much, much close game. Dallas lost in 4-3 in a shootout.
Since that four-game winning streak to open the season, the Stars are 1-2-3, including back-to-back 2-1 overtime losses to the Chicago Blackhawks in the last four days. The Stars have scored 15 combined goals since their 19-goal outburst to start the season.
I would argue that this is more indicative of what Dallas is and wants to be. As a friend pointed out to me after the second Chicago loss, Dallas is built as a defensive team first. They would prefer to win a low-scoring slugfest. That’s one of the things that got them to the Stanley Cup Final last year.
Projected Lines for Dallas
Jamie Benn (14) - Roope Hintz (24) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Joe Pavelski (16) - Alexander Radulov (47)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Radek Faksa (12) - Blake Comeau (15)
Jason Robertson (21) - Jason Dickinson (18) - Nicholas Caamano (17)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Joel Hanley (44) - Mark Pysyk (13)
Anton Khudobin (35)
Jake Oettinger (29)
On the other side of the ice, the Carolina Hurricanes come in with a 7-3-0 record overall, but they are only 2-2-0 since their series with Dallas. They, like the Stars, find themselves currently on the bottom half of the Central Division standings. That’s not saying too much, though, as both teams are only a few points out of second place in the tightly contested division.
This shows the importance of tonight’s game and the one on Saturday. While Dallas is hoping to get some key players back in the lineup for tonight, the Hurricanes are hoping for the same thing. Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas both returned to practice on Wednesday for Carolina and they have made the trip to Dallas.
Trocheck was out because of a lower-body injury, and the Hurricanes are hoping he will be able to play tonight against the Stars. Necas, missing a pair of games with an upper-body injury, skated Wednesday in a no-contact sweater during practice.
Projected Lines for Carolina
Andrei Svechnikov (37) - Sebastian Aho (20) - Brock McGinn
Ryan Dzingel (18) - Jordan Staal (11) - Warren Foegele (13)
Nino Niederreiter (21) - Jordan Martinook (48) - Vincent Trocheck (16)
Morgan Geekie (67) - Jasper Fast (71) - Teuvo Teravainen (86)
Jacob Slavic (74) - Brett Pesce (22)
Brady Skjei (76) - Dougie Hamilton (19)
Jake Gardiner (51) - Haydn Fleury (4)
James Reimer (47)
Alex Nedeljkovic (39)
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CST.