Now, for the Stars. They’ve got a chance tonight to jump out to a three-point lead over Vegas in the standings. Remember, too, Dallas still has three games in hand. That’s huge. But imagine what it will feel like to have two games in hand and be up three points on Vegas.
Now, that’s easier said than done. Tonight’s opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, has the MVP favorite and a team that has 96 points on the season. So, the Stars are definitely going to need to play their best game tonight.
Both teams played on Tuesday. The Stars got a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders; the Maple Leafs a 7-6 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers. The Stars defense will be key tonight. Toronto has scored 270 goals on the season. Only the Panthers have scored more. Meanwhile, Dallas has only given up 206 goals on the season. Having Miro Heiskanen back is a huge plus for this defense.
Stars potential lines
Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) - Tyler Seguin (91) - Marian Studenic (43)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Vladislav Namestnikov (92) - Alexander Radulov (47)
Michael Raffl (18) - Radek Faksa (12) - Luke Glendening (11)
Ryan Suter (20) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Joel Hanley (44) - John Klingberg (3)
Thomas Harley (55) - Jani Hakanpaa (2)
Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)
The Toronto Maple Leafs
As mentioned before, the Maple Leafs are an offensive machine. Toronto has two 30+ goal scorers (Auston Matthews - 54, Mitchell Marner -31), and they have William Nylander who has 27 goals, John Tavares with 25 and Michael Bunting at 20. This team is loaded with offense. Comparatively, the Stars have three guys with 25 or more goals, and they’re all on the top line.
Matthews also has 41 assists to go with his 54 goals, while Marner has 57 assists. Of course, it’s not quite fair that those two play on the same line either. The Stars’ defensemen will have to be on their toes. It’ll be interesting to see what defensive pairing Rick Bowness and staff try to put out there for the Leafs’ top line as well.
Toronto Possible Lines
Michael Bunting (58) - Austin Matthews (34) - Mitchell Marner (16)
Ilya Mikheyev (65) - John Tavares (91) - Alexander Kerfoot (15)
William Nylander (88) - David Kampf (64) - Pierre Engvall (47)
Kyle Clifford (43) - Colin Blackwell (11) - Wayne Simmonds (24)
Morgan Reilly (44) - TJ Brodie (78)
Jake Muzzin (8) - Justin Holl (3)
Mark Giorano (55) - Timothy Liljegren (37)
Erik Kallgren (50)
Jack Campbell (36)