Stars Pivotal Road Trip Continues Against Red Wings

Another game against an NHL bottom feeder. Another chance to end road woes.

The current Dallas Stars may not be the lockdown defensive juggernaut that the team has been over the last few seasons. The team has given up nine goals in their last two games, and that doesn’t include the seven goals allowed last weekend against the Florida Panthers.

Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres, the team kept pumping rubber at the net, and in spite of a few more pings off the iron, they were able to pull out a 5-4 road win, their first of the new year.

Potting four on the power play didn’t hurt. Neither did the return of Jason Robertson, who put in two goals in his return from a lower body injury. Tyler Seguin put in two more, including the lone Stars even strength goal - a tight angle bank shot off of ex-Star Mark Pysyk.

The Stars have been able to fight back after getting behind the last two games. They have the numbers to show it - great for your basic fancy stats, but not all that conducive to winning.

Detroit is still in the middle of a rebuild, but they do have some top end scoring talent. They also have a penchant for finding offense against the Stars, be it Anthony Mantha or Luke Glendenning. Somehow, Dallas finds a way to have a tough game against the Red Wings, and Friday nights game is the second of a back to back set, with travel.

In spite of the recent setbacks, the Stars still find themselves with a points percentage of .541, just behind the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. Points are there for the taking, and the team can’t afford to leave them on the table.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) - Tyler Seguin (91) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Michael Raffl (18) - Radek Faksa (12) - Luke Glendening (11)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Riley Damiani (13) - Jacob Peterson (40)

Ryan Suter (20) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Joel Hanley (44) - Jani Hakanpaa (2)

Braden Holtby (70)

Both Alexander Radulov and Andrej Sekera skated with the taxi squad this morning. Rick Bowness indicated that Radulov is a game time decision, presumably drawing in for Damiani. Sekera is out for tonights game.

Detroit Red Wings Lineup

Vladislav Namestnicov (92) - Dylan Larkin (71) - Lucas Raymond (23)
Bobby Fabbri (14) - Pius Suter (24) - Tyler Bertuzzi (59)
Adam Erni (73) - Michael Rasmussen (27) - Filip Zadina (11)
Givani Smith (48) - Joseph Veleno (90) - Sam Gagner (89)

Danny DeKeyser (65) - Moritz Seider (53)
Marc Staal (18) - Filip Hronek (17)
Nick Leddy (2) - Gustav Lindstrom (28)

Alex Nedeljkovic (39)

Detroit just pickup up ex-Star Gemel Smith off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and there is a possibility that he will make his Red Wings debut on Friday night. His brother, left winger Givani Smith, has already played 31 games with Detroit this year.

Keys to the Game

Get up early. Dallas has spent much of the last two games fighting from behind. That creates excessive pressure on an offense that is already struggling to score.

More than one line. Getting Jason Robertson back gave the offense a needed shot, and the Stars second line looked dangerous. Detroit has the type of defense that can clamp down on a top heavy lineup.

Goaltending. Both Jake Oettinger and Braden Holtby have been a bit leaky lately. Dallas can’t afford to have the opposition burying all of their chances.