Stars Look To Punch Playoff Ticket Tonight in Vancouver
It’ll be a battle of the rookie defensemen tonight as the Stars hunt that final two points to secure their playoff spot.
“The Dallas Stars are currently on a seven-game road winning streak,” is a sentence I never thought I would hear, let alone type, this season. This is a team who was ranked 28th in road wins in 2016 and 22nd in 2017. The Stars just haven’t been very good on the road in these past seasons. But as of late, that is a whole new story.
The Stars, with a win tonight, would have eight straight wins on the road. This would tie the franchise record for most consecutive road wins, which was done eight years ago in the 2010-11 season. This stretch of great hockey away from the AAC has shot the team up in the standings and shot down the blood pressure of Stars fans everywhere. Thanks to the Arizona Coyotes losing in the shootout to the Colorado Avalanche last night, if Dallas wins tonight, they will clinch a playoff berth.
Tonight, the Stars take on the Vancouver Canucks, who are without Antoine Roussel due to a gruesome knee injury. It really is unfortunate that we haven’t been able to see Roussel in the lineup for these last two games between the teams, but nonetheless the Canucks have plenty of youth and other players that will be exciting to watch. Quinn Hughes made his recent NHL debut for the Canucks Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings. He was drafted seventh overall in 2018 and is expected to be a big time player for the Canucks for a long time coming. The 19-year-old defenseman had an excellent assist in his first game and a marvelous overtime shift that really demonstrated what he is going to bring to the table in the foreseeable future. He is extremely quick and shifty, which will make it important for the Stars to play smart on their forecheck, as he can easily make them pay for over-pursuing him. Watching Miro Heiskanen against Hughes will be a treat tonight, next year, and many seasons in the future.
Keep An Eye On:
- Heiskanen versus Hughes. The two 19-year-old rookie defensemen will no doubt be battling it out as they showcase their skills.
- Elias Pettersson. The candidate for the Calder Trophy currently has just two goals in his last 23 games. The sharpshooter rookie is due, just hopefully not tonight.
- Alexander Radulov. As playoffs get closer and closer, the fire in Radulov’s eyes gets hotter and hotter. He has eight points in his last six games and it looks like nothing is going to stop him in his pursuit for the postseason./
Dallas Stars Lineup
Mattias Janmark — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov
Jamie Benn — Roope Hintz — Jason Dickinson
Andrew Cogliano — Radek Faksa — Blake Comeau
Valeri Nichushkin — Joel L’Esperance — Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen — Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun — Ben Lovejoy
Vancouver Canucks Lineup
Josh Leivo — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson
Sven Baertschi — Adam Gaudette — Jake Virtanen
Markus Granlund — Jay Beagle — Tim Schaller
Alexander Edler — Alex Biega
Ben Hutton — Troy Stecher
Quinn Hughes — Luke Schenn