Stars Begin Home Stand with Showdown Against Nashville

After a brutal road schedule to start the season, the Stars need some home success to turn things around.

Eleven games into the season, the Dallas Stars remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation victory. That isn’t as bad as it sounds - the team has been able to accumulate quite a few overtime points - but it still reflects a team that is teetering on a razor’s edge.

Is this team good or bad? In an all-or-nothing year for the team’s core veterans, is everything setting up for a disaster that will push management to break everything up at the trade deadline? Will we ever see another two goal lead?

Seven of the remaining nine games in November are at the American Airlines Center, and several of the teams visiting are Central Division rivals. A solid home stand could go a long way to silencing the team critics and could easily pull them back into a playoff position.

On the other hand...

Last season, the Stars and Predators put together some interesting, tight games (and a few blowouts), finishing with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) — Roope Hintz (24) — Joe Pavelski (16)
Joel Kiviranta (25) — Tyler Seguin (91) — Denis Gurianov (34)
Jamie Benn (14)  — Radek Faksa (12) — Alexander Radulov (47)
Michael Raffl (18) — Luke Glendening (11) — Blake Comeau (15)

Thomas Harley (55) — Miro Heiskanen (4)
Ryan Suter (20) — John Klingberg (3)
Esa Lindell (23) — Jani Hakanpaa (2)

Braden Holtby (70)

Nashville Predators Lineup

Filip Forsberg and Nick Cousins are both on injured reserve, so the Predators lineup doesn’t have its usual depth. The team also travels to St. Louis tonight for a game against the Blues tomorrow night. This is the expected lineup based on the latest practice session, but it is open to revision.

Luke Kunin (11) - Mikael Granlund (64) - Matt Duchene (95)
Tanner Jeannot (84) - Ryan Johansen (92) - Philip Tomasino (26)
Yakov Trenin (13) - Colton Sissons (10) - Eeli Tolvanen (28)
Michael McCarron (47) - Thomas Novak (82) - Mathieu Olivier (25)

Roman Josi (59) - Dante Fabbro (57)
Mattias Ekholm (14) - Matthew Benning (5)
Alexandre Carrier (45) - Philippe Myers (55)

Juuse Saros (74)

Keys to the Game

Pace. There was talk following the Vancouver Canucks game that the team got away from it’s defensive identity. Certainly, giving up six goals is reflective of that. That said, Nashville is down some guys and on the first leg of a back-to-back, so there is certainly room for the Stars mobile defensemen to jump into the play.

Best Players. Time to step up - and no, this isn’t Benn, Seguin, and Radulov. I’m liking Robertson, Hintz and Gurianov enjoying some home ice and finding the back of the net.

Overtime. How could it not be. This year’s Stars team finds a way to extra time on a regular basis. It’s a new year, and Dallas should find a way to break that five game overtime losing streak against Nashville from last year.