Comments / New

Stars On the Road Again, Take on the Islanders

Well, its official. The Dallas Stars are heading into a two game road trip to New York without their top line center.

That means that we’re likely to see a composite lineup similar to the one that played the final two periods on Sunday against the Florida Panthers, including Tyler Seguin centering the top line.

By the numbers, the team played well with Hintz out. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions looking at the individual game statistics, since most of those were slanted by what was, at least compared to the rest of the game, a poor start to the game by the Stars.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) – Tyler Seguin (91) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) – Wyatt Johnston (53) – Mason Marchment (27)
Denis Gurianov (34) – Radek Faksa (12) – Ty Dellandrea (10) –
Fredrik Olofsson (42) – Luke Glendening (11) – Joel Kiviranta (25)

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

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

At least Gurianov is available to fill the slot, so the Stars don’t have any lineup juggling that is specifically salary cap related. You have to think that these lines – especially the third and the fourth – will see a bit of in-game ruffling. Gurianov hasn’t played at game speed for a while, so I’d expect him to miss a few shifts.

Faksa has also shown some chemistry with Olofsson, so he may pull a few shifts with the third line.

The mix and match on the blue line continues, with Heiskanen back with Miller and Suter with Lundkvist.

New York Islanders Lineup

Anders Lee (27) – Mathew Barzal (13) – Simon Holmstrom (10)
Anthony Beauvillier (18) – Brock Nelson (29) – Josh Bailey (12)
Zach Parise (11) – Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) – Hudson Fasching (20)
Matt Martin (17) – Casey Cizikas (53) – Cal Clutterbuck (15)

Alexander Romanov (28) – Noah Dobson (8)
Sebastian Aho (25) – Scott Mayfield (24)
Parker Wotherspoon (38) – Ryan Pulock (6)

Ilya Sorokin (30)
Semyon Varlamov (40)

The Islanders have been going through a string of injuries. Most are listed as day-to-day, but the term is meaningless when you have a player listed that way who has been out more than a month. Top center Barzal is expected to be back after missing the teams last game against the Calgary Flames.

Defensively, New York is missing mainstay Adam Pelech, who is back skating with the team but isn’t ready to draw back in.

Ilya Sorokin has fabulous numbers, has been playing a bunch, and is expected in net against the Stars.

Keys to the Game

Duh, It’s been a while since the Stars have faced lineup changes due to injury, especially at the top. Next man up is the motto, but putting it into practice is key.

Goaltending. Oettinger vs. Sorokin smells like a goalie dual, no matter what happens with the skaters.

Bottom Feeders. The Islanders sport one of the best fourth lines in the NHL – and they tend to show up versus the Stars. Dallas has a makeshift lineup, but may need some help from the bottom half to win.