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Stars Return Home to Face Canucks

Evgeni Dadonov hasn’t really been on anyone’s radar going into last weekend, but as a replacement for Denis Gurianov, he has potential. His numbers are off a bit this year with a mediocre Montreal Canadians club, but he’s shown himself to be a regular 20 goal scorer over his career.

Dallas is his fifth team over the last four years, which does throw up a few red flags. However, its been a while since he’s been with a playoff contender, playing with middle six talent, so there is potential upside to his game. Certainly, the Dallas Stars had given Gurianov an opportunity to find a slot – one that he never quite took advantage of.

Beyond the trade, Dallas has momentum coming off of a shootout victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. It was a game that certainly could have ended in a 2-1 regulation defeat. Roope Hintz pushed it to overtime and the team survived an opportunity filled five minutes of three on three.

With Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin and Joe Pavelski, there is no reason for this team not to be a favorite in a shootout (and that’s not even considering Jake Oettinger in net). The race in the West is tightening up, so the bonus points count – and Dallas hasn’t accumulated enough, given the skills that they bring to extra time. Getting the win is and was important. Now it’s time for the group to build momentum off of the victory.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) – Wyatt Johnston (53) – Evgeni Dadonov (63)
Mason Marchment (27) – Tyler Seguin (91) – Ty Dellandrea (10)
Fredrik Olofsson (42) – Radek Faksa (12) – Fredrik Karlstrom (51)

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

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

It remains to be seen how the lineup settles with Dadonov joining the team. Ultimately, Dellandrea and he will fill the two middle six right wing slots, and time will tell which grouping works.

Both Freddies (Olofsson and Karlstrom) were recalled from the Texas Stars early on Monday and are available, pushing Joel Hanley back to his comfortable seat in the press box.

Vancouver Canucks Lineup

Andrei Kuzmenko (96) – Elias Pettersson (40) – Anthony Beauvillier (72)
Conor Garland (8) – Aatu Raty (27) – Brock Boeser (6)
Vasily Podkolzin (92) – Sheldon Dries (15) – Vitali Kravtsov (91)
Dakota Joshua (81) – Nils Aman (88) – Jack Studnicka (18)

Quinn Hughes (43) – Riley Stillman (61)
Guillaume Brisebois (55) – Tyler Myers (57)
Christian Wolanin (86) – Kyle Burroughs (44)

Collin Delia (60)
Arturs Silovs (31)

The Canucks have injury issues with a team that is still in rebuild mode. Goalie of the future, Thatcher Demko hasn’t been living up to his contract, but he’s injured, so the Stars should be facing either a lifetime backup or a prospect. After Saturday night, neither sounds all that appetizing.

The second and third line centers are of interest. Raty was at one point a potential overall number one draft pick, but slid into the second round after a less than spectacular Liiga season prior to the 2021 draft. He is getting an extended look after coming over from the New York Islanders (along with Beauviller) in the Bo Horvat deal. Third line center, Sheldon Dries, spent time with the Texas Stars prior to getting time with the Colorado Avalanche and ultimately the Canucks.

Like most teams playing out the string, Vancouver features a top six that can be dangerous, but a bottom end that is marginally ready for the NHL.

In net, Delia is a career backup for the Chicago Blackhawks. Silovs has shown promise in his brief time in the NHL, but at 21, is untested for an extended length of time at the NHL level.

J. T. Miller came up injured over the weekend, and is now listed as week to week.

Keys to the Game

Build off the Vegas game. The losing streak is over. Time to build a winning streak, especially considering the quality of opponent over the next week.

Power Play. It’s no longer scoreless over recent memory. The chances have been there, but chances don’t count on the scoresheet.

Goaltending. Oettinger, and to a degree Wedgewood, give the Stars a chance to win every night. If the offense can put up points (beyond what they did as the Rick Bowness Stars), the winning will take care of itself.