Game Preview: Vancouver Canucks@ Dallas Stars (7:30pm CST)
The Stars look to avoid their first back-to-back losses of the season tonight with Kari Lehtonen now on injured reserve.
"We didn't get outplayed. We didn't get out-skated. But we definitely got outsmarted," Ruff told media of his team's last outing.
The Ottawa Senators dropped a touchdown and an extra point on the Stars at the AAC Tuesday night, making Dallas' usual four goals, which they still scored, moot in the outcome.
They'll try to get back to their winning ways tonight as the Sedin twins and their Vancouver Canucks visit for the second and final time this season already. The puck drops at 7:30pm tonight- Be sure to arrive early as the traffic patterns have changed around the arena for the absolute worst.
The Stars were without Jason Demers Tuesday due to a lower-body injury but Wednesday Ruff told media he expected his defensive group reunited for tonight's contest, and he practiced with Johnny Oduya.
Neither goaltender fared well on Tuesday night after mistakes in front of them created chances of the 'A+' variety, but Kari suffered in more ways than one after a collision with John Klingberg resulted in a disappearance to the locker room- Officially an "upper-body" malady.
Dallas announced yesterday that Lehtonen had been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to November 24th, meaning that he will be ineligible to play until at least December 2nd, health permitting.
The Stars have had an advantageous schedule to this point with very few back-to-backs and an easy-to-manage goaltender situation, and now the Lehtonen injury comes at a pretty bad time.
Dallas plays in Minnesota tomorrow, a game much more important in the standings than this one , but Antti Niemi figures to try to get them back on track after the mess on Tuesday. Will he start both games in the set?
"That still doesn't mean he is going to play back-to-back," Ruff said after telling media they'd likely have to recall a netminder. "We'll take that step when it comes."
Dallas has five games in eight days including two back-to-back sets- Jack Campbell could get some action.
The Stars are really going to get tested as the schedule heats up and the injuries take their toll- The Stars were 4th in the league in man-games lost to injury coming out of Wednesday night at 77 already.
Vancouver scored a nice 3-2 win on the road over a Central team in the form of the Minnesota Wild, and the losing head coach explains to you how they did it-
"What happened was that we came out and played with half speed, half intensity, made hope plays, just threw the puck to them," said Mike Yeo. "We weren't really willing to work and play honest and try to create. Mentally we were not sharp."
Rings a bell, does it not, after the Stars turned puck after puck over to the Senators Tuesday night?
Vancouver had lost eight of ten heading into Minnesota, but their last two wins have come against the Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks, so they've got the Central in their crosshairs.
One aspect of the team that is firing on all cylinders, despite their struggles, is their power play, which has scored in seven straight games a total of 10 times. Part of that success stems from sheer opportunity- Earning EIGHT chances against the Devils, six against the Canadiens and five against the Jets.
Discipline will be key.
Their lineup, or something like it-
The Canacks attended the Dallas Cowboys/Carolina Panthers game in Arlington on Thanksgiving yesterday.
From Stars PR:
"WE'RE GOING STREAKING!"
The Vancouver Canucks travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Friday night in the second of three meetings during the 2015-16 season. The Stars secured a 4-3 overtime victory in the first meeting on Oct. 29, 2015, rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third period. Stars captain Jamie Benn registered two points (1-1=2) in the contest, including the game-winning goal in overtime and the secondary assist on the game-tying goal late in the third period. Dallas enters Friday's contest boasting an eight game winning streak (8-0-0) over the Canucks and have tallied wins in nine of their last 10 games against them. In 2014-15, the Stars swept the season series against the Canucks for the second consecutive season, marking the first time this has occurred since the team moved to Dallas. The Stars have won five straight games (5-0-0) at home against Vancouver, outscoring the Canucks 25-9 during that span.
BENN THERE, DONE THAT
Stars captain Jamie Benn tallied three points (2-1=3) on Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators and now ranks second in the NHL with 32 points (16-16=32) this season. His 16 goals are the most in the League and his 16 assists share seventh. Benn has points in six straight games (6-5=11) along with points in nine of his last 11 games (7-8=15). Tuesday night marked his 10th multi-point game of the 2015-16 season, tied for the most amongst all NHL players. Benn is currently riding a two-game point streak (2-1=3) against his hometown club. The native of Victoria, B.C. has points in 10 of his last 11 games against Vancouver (7-8=15) and has tallied 18 points (9-9=18) in 19 career contests against them.