Stars have Unfinished Business as Coyotes hit Dallas

The magic number to make the playoffs is one, but there is still time to grab the top wild card spot.

Quite a night of hockey. The Dallas Stars and the Texas Stars both went down early in must win games, only to come back to win.

The Texas win against the Manitoba Moose was less dramatic, but more critical. It was win and in, and behind late season pickup Matt Murray in net, the Stars pulled it out 4-2. Ben Gleason had a goal and an assist to tie the Texas Stars record for most points by a defender - don’t ask, I might have to bring up Julius Honka.

You’ve already seen two recaps of the Dallas Stars game, so I’m guessing you know what happened. One minor observation - when the pressure was on, Rick Bowness went right back to his comfort lines. Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Denis Gurianov, with Vladislav Namestnikov taking the right wing once it became clear that the team needed defense.

Michael Raffl-Radek Faksa-Luke Glendenning returned, just like you knew they would, leaving Gurianov, Joel Kiviranta and Fredrik Karlstrom nailed to the bench down the stretch.

We won’t know lines until pretty close to game time, but there will likely be a bit of shuffling on the back to back. This is an educated guess combined with what I might do.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) - Tyler Seguin (91) - Denis Guvianov (34)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Radek Faksa (12) - Marian Studenic (43)
Michael Raffl (18) - Luke Glendenning (11) - Alexander Radulov (47)

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

Scott Wedgewood (41)
Jake Oettinger (29)

Arizona Coyotes Lineup

Nick Schmaltz (8) - Barrett Hayton (29) - Travis Boyd (72)
Michael Carcone (53) - Nathan Smith (13) - Phil Kessel (81)
Antoine Roussel (26) - Jack McBain (22) - Loui Eriksson (21)
Liam O’Brien (38) - Alex Galchenyuk (17) - Jan Jenik (73)

Shayne Gostisbehere (14) - Anton Stralman (86)
Kyle Capobianco (75) - Janis Moser (62)
Cam Dineen (54) - Victor Soderstrom (77)

Harri Sateri (30)
Karel Vejmelka (70)

Arizona sent Bokondji Imama to the press box, but his is a great story, having done his time in both the ECHL and AHL for five plus seasons. Rewarded with a late season callup, and scoring his first NHL goal against the St. Louis Blues. I leave it in, since it does everybody some good to see goals scored against Jordan Binnington.

Also, will be interesting to see ex-Stars Roussel and Eriksson on the same line. Sounds like Arizona will put Sateri in net, tempting the Dallas Stars fate against a journeyman, waiver wire pickup.

Keys to the Game

Don’t Tempt Fate. The Coyotes have nothing to lose and will be playing loose. Don’t give the team hope by underestimating their will to win.

Goals. Sure, you need them to win, but the Stars have been in a mini-drought, even for them. Get a bit of confidence in the offense going into the playoffs.

Roll Lines. The bench got mighty short on the back half of the Golden Knights game. The team shouldn’t necessarily rest players, but this is game two of a back to back, so getting the fourth line into double digit minutes wouldn’t be a bad thing.