Gameday Preview: New Jersey Devils @ Dallas Stars (7:30pm CST)
Jagr's last visit? The Stars will try again with another re-shuffled lineup after a three-day break.
After three days of stewing on a gutting 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night that saw Kari Lehtonen pulled and the team out-played in nearly every facet of the game, the Dallas Stars draw the Devils.
New Jersey arrives this evening representing an opportunity, of sorts. They're not exactly doing too well themselves these days.
2-5-3 in their last 10 games and 25th in the league in scoring, they enter fresh off a 4-1 loss to the Flyers Thursday night. In that ten-game span they've scored only 13 goals at even strength.
They've played a league-high 19 road games, going 8-10-1 including Western Conference losses in Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary and Vancouver- But they've won two of their last three away from home, including one against the suddenly tough Toronto Maple Leafs. And again- six even-strength goals in their last six road games.
So keep them off the power play, because they can do some damage there.
A possible lineup:
Jagr leads them in scoring with 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 29 games, but keep an eye on Star-killer Cammalleri, their leading goal-getter with 11. Familiar faces are plentiful in Jagr, Cammalleri, Michael Ryder, and former Shark/Wild Martin Havlat. Dainius Zubrus is expected to miss this one with a leg laceration.
Travis Moen was injured against Winnipeg Tuesday night, and Ryan Garbutt managed to get himself excused for a trio of games starting with this one, so the dominos fell like this Friday at practice:
Benn - Spezza -Seguin
Roussel - Eakin - Hemsky
McKenzie - Morin - Cole
Horcoff - Fiddler - Sceviour
Jason Spezza moves back up to reunite the so-called "super line" at practice, and why not- They've had success at home and nothing else has worked. Perhaps they'll give the Stars an offensive spark and some puck possession inspiration for the remainder.
Travis Morin, newly re-called from Texas, jumps into a make-shift third line with AHL linemate Curtis McKenzie, and Ales Hemsky will play Garbutt with Eakin and Roussel. That gives the lineup a very "last-season" feel, but no one would argue at this point that it's anything but a positive.
Ruff added that Colton Sceviour (also a former linemate with McKenzie and Morin) could see time with his old mates as well.
As Brandon wrote yesterday, John Klingberg practiced with Alex Goligoski in what can only be described as a new first pairing, so we'll see if that holds. The rest of the blue line at practice worked out like this:
Goligoski - Klingberg
Jokipakka - Daley
Benn - Demers
From Stars PR:
The Dallas Stars square off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at American Airlines Center in the second and final contest between the two clubs scheduled for the 2014-15 regular season. The Stars took down New Jersey, 3-2 in a shootout, in the first meeting on Oct. 24. Forwards Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves each scored goals for the visitors as Jason Spezza tallied the game-deciding goal in the shootout. Netminder Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves and allowed zero goals in the shootout for the win. Dallas comes into Saturday's contest having earned points in six of the last seven contests against the Devils at American Airlines Center, boasting a 5-1-1 record at home since the start of the 2003-04 season.
This one is a rare 7:30pm CST Saturday start (usually 7:00pm) on Fox Sports Southwest proper and Fox Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket.