Looking to round this Canadian extravaganza with a win over the number one team in the Conference and number 2 in the league, the Stars are going into Vancouver with a 7-4 loss to Calgary as wind in their sails.
I can’t call it a chip on their shoulder, I don’t think the team expected to win every game from the start of January to the end of the year; they seemed to accept the loss pretty well after the game. But, this team isn’t the same team they were the last two years, so accepting a loss doesn’t mean that they are accepting losing.
Last time they met the Canucks they saw a team they needed to beat to prove to themselves they were a great team roll over them in a 4-1 loss where they were dominated on special teams. Since then they’ve righted the ship on the PK and the PP.
But, this is a very talented Vancouver team. While they are experience the injury bug to a fate-like extent, they are still one of the more dynamic offensive teams in the league with a forward line-up whose depth rivals that of the Stars when Ryan Kesler is on a roll… and he usually is. They are coming off of 4-straight losses (some in OT and SO) and will be hungry to fix that problem and get back on track. They know that if they fall then the Stars will be just 2 points away from overtaking their Western Conference lead.
Both teams have something to gain and both teams should (theoretically) be hungry for a win. If the Stars can stimie the burst-scoring of the Canucks (and vice versa) it should make for a very interesting match-up between two of the best teams in both the conference and the league.
Lehtonen and Luongo will get their starts in net, Lehts should be rested after a full night off in Calgary, look for a great effort from him. We’ve got a late start at 9pm; tune in then to see whether or not the Stars can start overtaking the injury ridden and struggling Vancouver Canucks as they wrap up their road trip in Vancouver.