Every win from here on out is vital for the Dallas Stars playoff chances, because with Thursday night’s win against the Nashville Predators putting the Stars within sneezing distance of that fourth spot, the playoffs are still a thing that could happen. The Stars were desperate for the win, coming off a four game losing streak.
The Stars’ decisive victory came off two assists from Joe Pavelski and a game winning goal from Roope Hintz, back in the lineup after missing a few games to his nagging lower body injury.
The fact that these next two games are against the Carolina Hurricanes is less than ideal, as the Stars have not managed to win a game against them this season. The Stars have yet to put together two wins in a row since their four game win streak to start the season. Could tonight be the night?
Potential Lines for Dallas:
Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) - Jason Dickinson (18) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Radek Faksa (12) - Blake Comeau (15)
Rhett Gardner (49) - Justin Dowling (37) - Joel L’Esperance (38)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Joel Hanley (44) - Andrej Sekera (5)
Jake Oettinger will get the start in net, with Anton Khudobin put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list today. Head coach Rick Bowness says the team is hopeful it’s a false positive. Khudobin had COVID in the offseason.
The Carolina Hurricanes currently occupy the third spot in the division standings and are coming off a road trip to Chicago, where they split the decision between two games.
The Hurricanes have had a way of making things happen for themselves this season, and Thursday night’s late goal against the Blackhawks was no exception. The game did break Dougie Hamilton’s point streak, but that just means he’ll be ripe to start a new one.
Peter Mrazek is close to a return, but not quite ready to draw back into the line up yet.
Potential Lines for Carolina:
Brock McGinn (23) - Sebastian Aho (20) - Martin Necas (88)
Andrei Svechnikov (37) - Vincent Trocheck (16) - Jesper Fast (17)
Nino Niederreiter (21) - Jordan Staal (11) - Warren Foegele (13)
Cedric Paquette (18) - Steven Lorentz (78) - Jordan Martinook (48)
Jaccob Slavin (74) - Dougie Hamilton (19)
Brady Skjei (76) - Brett Pesce (22)
Hadyn Fleury (4) - Jake Bean (24)
Alex Nedeljkovic (39)
James Reimer (47)