Stars Back At Home, Back To The Grind, Against Predators

Stars Back At Home, Back To The Grind, Against Predators
(Credit: Ross Bonander / Texas Stars)

Winning two of three on the road isn't bad. For the Dallas Stars, the unfortunate thing is that the loss from their recently ended road trip was against the Colorado Avalanche.

The team didn't play bad, and there were some tired legs after playing the night before in Arizona, but the game against Colorado was a de facto playoff game, and Dallas wasn't at their best.

Dallas Stars Lineup

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

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

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

The big news for the game is that Thomas Harley has been recalled from the Texas Stars. He'll likely get third pair minutes, playing with Colin Miller.

With the move, and in reality, going back a few games, Suter with Heiskanen seems to be back being a thing. The Suter/Heiskanen partnership still grades out as one of the Stars top pairs (Heiskanen with anybody grades out pretty well), but against Colorado, they were the pair that gave up the majority of chances against.

Wedgewood is back with the NHL squad after a solid effort in his rehab start with the Texas Stars. After Oettinger played in both games over the weekend, tonights game looks to feature Wedgewood back in net.

Olofsson is drawing back in on the fourth line, taking Joel Kivirant's spot. Faksa is back with Seguin and Domi.

Nashville Predators Lineup

Egor Afanasyev (70) - Cody Glass (8) - Philip Tomasino (26)
Keifer Sherwood (44) - Thomas Novak (82) - Luke Evangelista (77)
Yakov Trenin (13) - Colton Sissons (10) - John Leonard (43)
Rasmus Asplund (71) - Mark Jankowski (17) - Michael McCarron (47)

Ryan McDonagh (27) - Dante Fabbro (57)
Spencer Stastney (81) - Tyson Barrie (22)
Kevin Gravel (5) - Cal Foote (52)

Juuse Saros (74)
Kevin Lankinen (32)

The top six for Nashville features some of the teams top talent from the AHL.

Roman Josi is day to day, and appears to be out for tonight. That said, the Predators still feature a tough defensive unit, with outstanding goaltending.

Keys to the Game

Clinch/Elimination. This game could be the one where the Stars officially qualify for the NHL playoffs. The Predators are clinging to an outside hope that the moon and stars align and they could snag the last wild card spot. Not likely, but something to play for.

Suter/Harley. Consider this all just a big experiment. Does pairing Ryan Suter with Miro Heiskanen give the Stars a legitimate top pair? Alternatively, how does all of the work the Thomas Harley has put in on defensive responsibility meld with his transition game at the NHL level? If things work out, this could be a preview of the Dallas defense in the playoffs.

Killer Instinct. No team wants to just slide into the playoffs. This game gives the Stars the opportunity to put the loss to Colorado game behind them and to qualify for the playoffs on their own terms.