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Stars Return Home To Regroup, Face Capitals

The Dallas Stars begin a three-game home stand on Thursday starting with the Washington Capitals.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars went 1-2-1 on their northeast road trip and are now 4-2-1 on the season. They will play the first of three games at the American Airlines Center against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are coming off their first road win against the New Jersey Devils on Monday and are 4-3-0 to start their season.

Stars Look To Buck The Trend

Dallas was plagued with penalties on their recent road trip, and trips to the sin bin were the most likely culprit for only notching only one win on the road. Obviously, it isn’t pleasant to talk about repeatedly, but here is a table of what those penalties looked like for each game.

Those penalties total to 21 for the road trip with 45 penalty minutes in all which is 5.25 penalties/game and 11.25 penalty minutes/game. It’s hard to win hockey games if you are spending that kind of time in the box. Dallas hopes to rectify this on a new home stand starting tonight. So far this season,they are 2-0-0 at the AAC with wins over Nashville and Winnipeg. Staying disciplined will be important, because the Caps are now 9th in the league on the power play at 25%.

Depth Scoring Squads

Both of these teams have benefited from contributions up and down their lineups. Dallas has 11 players with three or more points and eight players with two or more goals. Washington is in a similar situation with 12 Caps recording four or more points and eight players with two or more goals. This trend was not the case last year in Dallas as the top line dominated the scoresheet. It will be interesting to see if this continues going forward for the Stars.

Caps Continue Road Trip In Dallas

The Washington Capitals continue their first multi-game road trip in Dallas then face the Predators and Hurricanes before returning home. After starting their season out with two losses, the Capitals have won four of their last five games. In these last five games they have scored 21 goals and given up 16. Alex Ovechkin leads the team with three goals and three assists and sits at 783 goals scored in his illustrious career. Goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, who came over from the Avalanche after helping to secure the Stanley Cup, has three wins in five games and a save percentage of 0.899. The Capitals continue to play without Nicklas Backstrom (hip surgery) and Tom Wilson (ACL surgery), but these two have started to skate with the team before practice.

Matej Blumel In The Mix

Tonight will be the first time Matej Blumel will be with the Dallas Stars. He was recalled yesterday from the Texas Stars to replace Jacob Peterson. Peterson, who was one game away from losing waiver exemption, was sent back to Cedar Park. Blumel, a native of Tabor, Czechia, has recorded five goals and three assists in just five games with the Texas Stars. He was a fourth-round draft pick (100th overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2019 NHL Draft. Blumel has spent the previous three years playing in the ELH (Czech Extraliga) for the HC Dynamo Pardubice in the Czech Republic where he had 33 goals and 28 assists in 129 games. Based on morning skate lines it looks like Blumel will be watching this game from the press box.

Expected Lineups

Dallas Stars

Jason Robertson—Roope Hintz—Joe Pavelski
Mason Marchment—Tyler Seguin—Denis Gurianov
Jamie Benn—Wyatt Johnston—Ty Dellandrea
Radek Faksa—Luke Glendening—Joel Kiviranata

Ryan Suter—Nils Lundkvist
Esa Lindell—Colin Miller
Joel Hanley—Jani Hakanpaa

Jake Oettinger

Miro Heiskanen is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and Matej Blumel is a healthy scratch

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin—Dylan Strome—Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson—Evgeny Kuznetsov—T.J. Oshie
Aliaksei Protas—Lars Eller—Anthony Mantha
Beck Malenstyn—Nic Dowd—Garnet Hathaway

Dmitry Orlov—John Carlson
Martin Fehervary—Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson—Trevor van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper

Where To Watch

Tonight’s game will be on Bally Sports Southwest Extra. The pre-game broadcast starts at 7:00 PM CDT and puck drop will be at 7:30 PM CDT. The broadcast will also be available via radio on The Ticket 96.7 FM/1310 AM.