What was supposed to be a season-defining home stand for the Dallas Stars has not quite panned out that way. The Stars have lost the first four games with three of them coming in overtime, including one shootout.
After losing 2-1 in back-to-back overtime games to the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas lost a pair of games to the Carolina Hurricanes. Tonight they welcome back a familiar rival. The Nashville Predators visit the American Airlines Center for the first time since the series opener for Dallas.
The Stars won those two games by a combined 10-2 score. In those two games, Dallas scored eight power-play goals and one shorthanded tally.
This series could be just what the Stars need. As every Stars fan knows, Dallas and Nashville have built a nice rivalry. These two teams have to face each other quite a bit in a normal season. Add in the eight games this season and the rivalry should continue to get stronger and stronger.
Dallas’ offense has been struggling on this home stand when compared to the first four games of the season. In that first four games, the Stars scored 19 combined goals. During the last four home games, the Stars managed to score eight goals. Part of this is the fact that several key players are out due to injuries.
Players like Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin being out is going to hurt the offensive production. However, there is still enough firepower from those that are still on the ice. Joe Pavelski has been the most consistent scorer for the Stars so far this season. His 17 points leads the second closest person (John Klingberg) by five.
Dallas Projected Lines
Jamie Benn (14) - Joe Pavelski (16) - Joel Kiviranta (25)
Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Jason Dickinson (18) - Blake Comeau (15)
Justin Dowling (37) - Radek Faksa (12) - Ty Dellandrea (10)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Andrej Sekera (5) - Mark Pysyk (13)
Anton Khudobin (35)
Jake Oettinger (29)
The Nashville Predators
Dallas and Nashville currently sit towards the bottom of the Central Division. While the Stars are currently sixth out of eight teams, the Predators are in the seventh spot.
With a third of their season almost gone, the Predators need to start making a move. This is the type of team that can be dangerous if they get on a roll. Last year before the COVID-19 shutdown, it was the Predators who shut out Dallas in a home-and-home series. As much as Dallas wants to get their offense rolling and start winning games, Nashville is in the same boat.
Like Dallas, Nashville is dealing with some injuries. Ryan Johansen, Brad Richardson and Mattias Ekholm are just a few of the names on injured reserve for the Predators.
Nashville Projected Lines
Filip Forsberg (9) - Luke Kunin (11) - Viktor Arvidsson (33)
Calle Jarnkrok (19) - Matt Duchene (95) - Mikael Granlund (64)
Nick Cousins (21) - Erik Haula (56) - Eeli Tolvanen (28)
Yakov Trenin (13) - Colton Sissons (10) - Rocco Grimaldi (23)
Roman Josi (59) - Ryan Ellis (4)
Jarred Tinordi (24) - Dante Fabbro (57)
Mark Borowiecki (90) - Matthew Benning (5)
Pekka Rinne (35)
Juuse Saros (74)
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CST tonight.