Back from the All-Star Break, Dallas Faces Ducks

After an early January shutout, there is no way the Stars take this game lightly. Right?

Nine days is a long time to go without hockey (unless, like me, you’ve been watching the Texas Stars and Idaho Steelheads). Jason Robertson didn’t have the entire time off, and you could argue that Pete DeBoer spent the break working on 3x3. Otherwise, your Dallas Stars headed to an appealing, warm weather clime, to rest, relax and reset themselves for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.

What better way to ease back onto the grind than a home match up with the Anaheim Ducks. A team that, after all, hurts their rebuild efforts every time they notch a win.

Of course, one of those wins was a 2-0 shutout of the Dallas Stars the last time the teams faced off. That, in and of itself, should be enough to get the competitive juices flowing.

It’s also Jamie Benn’s 1000th game and the return of John Klingberg to American Airlines Center.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) – Wyatt Johnston (53) – Ty Dellandrea (10)
Mason Marchment (27) – Radek Faksa (12) – Tyler Seguin (91)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Luke Glendening (11) – Denis Gurianov (34)

Miro Heiskanen (4) – Colin Miller (6)
Esa Lindell (23) – Jani Hakanpää (2)
Ryan Suter (20) – Nils Lundkvist (5)

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

Everyone rested, so expect the standard Stars lineup.

The home stand isn’t going to get any easier, with the Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins finishing off the run of eight straight games at home.

My personal guess - the Benn - Johnston - Dellandrea line starts the game.

Anaheim Ducks Lineup

Frank Vatrano (77) - Mason McTavish (37) - Max Jones (49)
Adam Henrique (14) - Trevor Zegras (11) - Troy Terry (19)
Ryan Strome (16) - Isac Lundestrom (21) - Jakob Silfverberg (33)
Maxime Comtois (44) - Jayson Megna (7) - Sam Carrick (39)

Cam Fowler (4) - Dmitry Kulikov (29)
Urho Vaakanainen (5) - John Klingberg (3)
Simon Benoit (13) - Nathan Beaulieu (28)

John Gibson (36)
Anthony Stolarz (41)

Kevin Shattenkirk may draw in after missing two games before the break. Gibson has been getting the majority of the starts, so expect him in net.

Keys to the Game

Back to the grind. The Stars are on a three game losing streak for the first time this season. Overtime woes explain much of that, as does the quality of opponents that the team faced. All good reasons to hit the ice ready to finish off the season on the upswing.

Jamie Benn. Benn doesn’t make much about himself, and the pageantry of the evening is everything that he isn’t about. I’m guessing that by the time of the opening faceoff, Benn will be ready to put the celebration behind him and just go play hockey. Dainty barbarian, indeed.

Fun in the stands. Benn, Klingberg, the return of hockey (including inside ice, but not outside ice). Fans have every reason to be ready to have a good time. Expect AAC to be rocking, especially for a Monday night.