If we ever needed an example of why too much home cooking can be a bad thing, just look no further the the Dallas Stars in their last two games. After playing great on the road and then coming home and blowing-out Montreal, the Stars continued their stretch of home games with a lose before Christmas and then another after it to Phoenix in a very uninspiring effort Sunday night. The Stars went on such a great stretch and had people talking so well about them and how they may be a contender. But a shootout lose to the dismal Flames and a 1-0 snooze fest against the rival Coyotes and some goalie that sounds like a Barbie doll, and now the Stars need to turn it back around quick.
Tonight the Stars play the first half of a back-to-back when the faceoff on the road against the Nashville Predators. Dallas has been great in back-to-backs this season with a record on 8-4 total and 5-1 in the first game of these. Nashville themselves are coming into the game with four game losing streak and have been outscored 14-3 in those four games. But the last time these two faced earlier this season the Preds won 1-0 in Dallas. Nashville is down a bunch of guys though. With forward Jordin Tootoo going into counseling yesterday, the Predators are now without four forwards that would be on their top 2-3 lines and the ability to score goals for them may continue to be rough. Combine that with how well the Stars PK has been and that their team GAA in the last 17 games is 2.17, and I think the Stars can hold Nashville to scoring just one goal tonight. Now Dallas just has to score themselves, something that has been down for this team as well recently.
The coaching staff announced today that Andrew Raycroft will be in the net tonight on the road. That also means that Lehtonen will be manning the crease tomorrow at home against the Red Wings. Tom Wandell and Nicklas Grossman both did not fly with the team and will be out again with some sort of sickness. The two could both be listed as questionable as far as tomorrow’s game goes. This also means that Aaron Gagnon was called back up and is expected to play tonight. I like it considering that he can skate well and seems to be solid on both sides of the ice. I really would like him to stay up with Dallas long term and have Barch take a freaking seat.
Prediction: Stars 3, Predators 1 – I think Dallas gets a powerplay goal in the first and does not look back from there.