Dallas Head to Break with Matchup Against Devils

The Stars are healthy again, and that should only get better with a week off for the All-Star break. One more tough, fast opponent remains.

The Carolina Hurricanes took it to the Dallas Stars for most of their game on Wednesday night. That’s not saying that Dallas didn’t have their chances, and a post here and a pipe there and the Stars could have walked away with two points in regulation.

Instead, the teams went to overtime, and in what seems to be an even year, odd year occurrence, Dallas went down early in overtime and without much fight. At least this year, the team has put some distance between themselves and the last wildcard spot, so there is some breathing room.

That said, accumulating points is never a bad thing, but the Stars are leaving a bunch on the table so far this year.

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)

Thus ends the experiment with Seguin on the top line? Faksa is on his version of a heater, which means that you probably remember when he scored his last goal - but seriously, when Faksa scores, he tends to get a bit of confidence, which has, in the past, led to more consistent opportunities.

Lundkvist draws back in, hopefully having learned from his time in the press box.

With a full week off following tonight’s game, expect a short bench. That fourth line looks a whole lot like three guys who were left over after the top three lines were set.

New Jersey Devils Lineup

Ondrej Palat (18) - Nico Hischier (13) - Jesper Bratt (63)
Yegor Sharangovich (17) - Jack Hughes (86) - Fabian Zetterlund (49)
Tomas Tatar (90) - Erik Haula (56) - Dawson Mercer (91)
Miles Wood (44) - Michael Mcleod (20) - Nathan Bastian (14)

Jonas Siegenthaler (71) - Dougie Hamilton (7)
Ryan Graves (33) - Damon Severson (28)
Nikita Okhotiuk (82) - Brendan Smith (2)

Vitek Vanecek (41)
MacKenzie Blackwood (29)

The Devils will have a few players back since the Stars beat them 4-1 on December 13. Ondrej Palat is back, and on the top line - plus the Devils have their top netminder tandem available.

Like the Stars, New Jersey has been fairly healthy this year. They’ve also put up some of their best work on the road. Combine the team’s skill, tenacity, speed on confidence, and this should be a fun matchup, and one that Dallas can’t afford to take lightly.

Blackwood was in net last night in the Devil’s 6-4 loss to the Nashville Predators. Vanecek has been New Jersey’s number one, so expect him in goal against the Stars.

Keys to the Game

Young All-Stars. Jason Robertson and Jack Hughes are both 30 goal scorers in their early twenties and just hitting their strides. If nothing else, sit back and watch two of the league’s superstars.

One foot out the door. The team that wins could easily be the team that focuses on the game, not their upcoming trip to the Bahamas.

Enjoy the game. You’re going to miss Dallas Stars hockey for the next week. This game shapes up to be fun, so enjoy it so that it tides you over until February 6 when the Stars are back at it against the Anaheim Ducks.