The Stars take to the road this weekend as tonight and tomorrow they face-off against a pair of Central division teams and look to pick up some points on the road. Tonight Dallas drops the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6PM CT start, and then the Stars have a strange 4PM CT start time as they face the hated Detroit Red Wings. Dallas goes onto the road with a record of 8-2-2 in their last 12 games but are 2-2-2 in the last 6 games. So Dallas has been picking up points, but recently it has been a little bit of a downturn after their long winning streak.
Tonight the Stars get a rematch against the Blue Jackets that beat them 3-2 in a game that went to a shootout just back on the 6th of December. Kari Lehtonen will make the start tonight for Dallas, and playing two games in three days means that at least the Stars believe he is back and fine after missing a week with some back “tightness” and keeping it pretty hush-hush. Lehtonen and the Stars will be in for a feisty game as it seems that every time these two teams face off it becomes a physical game. Mathieu Garon will get the start for Columbus and he has stepped up with expected starter Steve Mason struggling a lot this season. Garon was in net when Columbus beat Dallas last time and the Stars will have another shot at figuring him out tonight.
With Lehtonen getting the nod in the crease tonight, it is almost 95% likely that Andrew Rayroft will see the starting role fall to him for tomorrow’s game in Detroit. An odd choice to me, as I would have done it the other way around but Crawford is the coach and I guess that means he gets to make the decisions…for now. Seriously though, I give the guy a hard time but he has this team in better shape then expected at this point in the season. Dallas goes into these two road games with a narrow lead in the Pacific, but everything in the west is tight right now. Other then the Red Wings probably winning their division, the others are all tight and at the current moment it looks like any team could end up in any spot in the west just about. I mean shoot, even the Oilers in last place are not a lock to end there.
Prediction: Stars take one in regulation (PLEASE!) – Stars 4, Columbus 3