Stars Season Final Stretch Starts in Detroit

Young talent on display as Stars/Red Wings play out the string.

Stars Season Final Stretch Starts in Detroit
Credit: Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars

Joel Kiviranta scores (JFK). Sounds like the playoffs are imminent.

Miro Heiskanen played just under 30 minutes.

Jake Oettinger kept (almost) everything out of the net.

The only thing that might have made Saturday's matinee any sweeter would have been not having to watch it on ABC.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Tyler Seguin (91) - Max Domi (18) –  Ty Dellandrea (10)
Jamie Benn (14) – Wyatt Johnston (53) – Evgeni Dadonov (63)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Radek Faksa (12) - Luke Glendening (11)

Miro Heiskanen (4) – Ryan Suter (20)
Esa Lindell (23) – Jani Hakanpää (2)
Thomas Harley (55) - Colin Miller (6)

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

Not a whole lot to change here after Saturday afternoon. The Stars played a tight, playoff caliber game. The defense gave up a goal on an odd man rush, and the offense scored the same way - both by fourth liners. Oettinger was, as is now the expectation, unflappable in net.

Mason Marchment isn't in the lineup, but he is on the trip.

Detroit Red Wings Lineup

Dominik Kubalik (81) - Dylan Larkin (71) - David Perron (57)
Pius Suter (24) - Andrew Copp (18) - Lucas Raymond (23)
Taro Hirose (25) - Joseph Veleno (90) - Alex Chiasson (48)
Junatan Berggren (52) - Austin Czarnik (21) - Matt Luff (22)

Jake Walman (96) - Moritz Seider (53)
Simon Edvinsson (3) - Ben Chiarot (8)
Olli Maatta (2) - Robert Hagg (38)

Ville Husso (35)
Magnus Hellberg (45)

For Detroit, their top line is veteran and dangerous. Further down the lineup, the Red Wings have a number of top draft picks who are getting ice time as their season winds down. Veleno and Berggren (2018, #30 and #33) have become regulars. 21 year old Lucas Raymond (2020 #4) is having a minor sophomore slump, but should be a core contributor for a long time.

On defense, Seider (2019 #6) is living up to his pedigree on the top pair. Watch Edvinsson, a 6'4" 20 year old (2021 #6) who is playing his last game of the season to preserve an entry level slide year.

If you like stories of perseverance, watch ex-Star Alex Chiasson as the net front guy on the Red Wing power play. Chiasson turned a PTO with the Grand Rapid Griffins into an NHL deal - Detroit is his seventh team of a career where he's won a Stanley Cup and been on the power play with Connor McDavid.

For the fourth time in his career, Alex Chiasson turns PTO into full-time NHL contract
This time Journeyman NHLer turned AHL PTO into NHL deal in Detroit
How and why Alex Chiasson has found a net-front fit on the Red Wings power play
The Red Wings forward has seized an opportunity after Detroit traded Tyler Bertuzzi

Keys to the Game

Focus. With the Vegas Golden Knights game in the rear view mirror, each game still has meaning. Against Detroit, the Stars could potentially clinch home ice for the first round. Also, time to tighten up in anticipation of playoffs.

Four Lines. Nobody is "resting", but that doesn't mean that each line shouldn't be skating in the 13-17 minute range.

Try a Few Things. Nothing screams lets try something new on the second power play than an under-performing unit, with options available to shake that up.